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.
DSA Members Organizing Against Trump
Signatories included Peter Hogness, New York City Democratic Socialists of America.
This year’s mission is to fill the gap in the Biden campaign’s outreach, which appears to be neglecting to reach some marginalized communities with a powerful voting pool. In activating those people who have traditionally been left out, Seed the Vote hopes to nurture and build onto its existing base of voters and volunteers, creating a movement independent of the Democratic Party that can be activated for change.
“We don’t know what the next weeks of the campaign will bring, but one thing is clear,” wrote Emily Lee of Seed the Vote and Peter Hogness of Water for Grassroots in New York in a recent Guardian op-ed. “Defeating Donald Trump is too important to leave up to the Biden campaign.”
The solution, they argue, lies in supporting established grassroots organizers who already have connections to communities that are at risk of voter suppression, or who aren’t yet registered to vote.
“In conversations with disenchanted voters, a group doing long-term organizing can have more credibility than a candidate’s campaign,” state Lee and Hogness. “They’re working in the community 12 months a year, not just appearing at election time, extracting a vote, and then vanishing.”
These on-the-ground organizations, however, don’t always have the staff or volunteer base available to run operations for a major campaign, particularly in dense urban areas. Seed the Vote draws from a national pool of volunteers, trains them on the needs of each geographic area, and deploys them to canvass or phone bank for small organizations. Often, community-based nonprofits or neighborhood groups are a way to start a conversation with potential voters who the Biden campaign may overlook, or not be culturally adept to talk to. For example, the Biden campaign didn’t ramp up efforts to target Puerto Rican voters in Florida until mid-September. Seed the Vote has been making Spanish-language calls in Florida since at least August.
In Florida, which Trump won by 112,911 votes in 2016, Seed the Vote partners with The New Florida Majority, which fights for inclusion of marginalized communities in the electoral process, and Mijente, which advocates for Latinx rights.
Florida is a vital state to watch in the upcoming election. As the third most populous state in the country, it has 29 seats in the electoral college, and has historically gone Republican.
It’s not impossible to flip. The population of people of color in Florida has grown 25% since 2010. Florida now has the third largest Latinx electorate in the country, with 3.1 million eligible to vote. But race does not always connote a political stance. As Seed the Vote states on its website, “we can expect that Trump’s campaign will aggressively pursue Latinx people and other key groups in Florida through anti-abortion and anti-socialist fearmongering.”
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.
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!"
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.”
Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward
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.
Left Labor Project Presents: What Happened? What Now?
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.
RSVPS included Peter Hogness.
New Yorkers for Bernie
Jill Greenberg April 9, 2016
Welcome home, Bernie Sanders! New York, New York, it's a helluva town, the Bronx is up and the Battery's down ... Help Canvass & Win New York for Bernie! bernie.to/NYCanvass
- NYforBernie #WFP4Bernie #NYLabor4Bernie — with Darius Khalil Gordon, Raybblin Vargas, Gili Getz, Lillian Gorman, Rachel Eve Stein, Arlene Geiger, Miriam Rabban, Mindy Rosier, Phillip Anderson, Joe Dinkin, Javier Anderson, Andrew C. White, Rafael Shimunov, Ian Williams, Elena Hermanson, Susan M. Dooha, Karla Fisk, Moumita Ahmed, Andi Dier, Flora Ichiou Huang, Caleb-Michael Files, Dave Handy, Charles Lenchner, Jon E. Dominos, Owen Crowley, Sam Himmelstein, Kristina Andreotta, Daniel Millstone, Heidi Siegfried, Glenn Oldhoff, Maria Svart, Sam Massol, Nadya Stevens, Winnie Wong, Akiko Ichikawa, Peter Hogness, Mark Hannay, David Unger, Jeffrey Gold, Emiljana Ulaj, Alice Fisher, Katherine Brezler, Josh Siegel, Steve Oliver and Candice Fortin.
Democratic Socialists of America Electoral Committee
In March 2018 Peter Hogness was involved with the Democratic Socialists of America Electoral Committee.
Endorsing Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams
The Case for Endorsing Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams (And How To Do It Strategically) was a letter Drafted by: Danya Lagos (CBK/Labor), and circulated among New York Democratic Socialists of America members in July 2018.
CoSigners, as of July 23 2018 were: Peter Hogness.
Peter Hogness June 16 2019:
DSA folks in NYC: If, like me, you are only now getting around to casting your ballot for national convention delegates, I urge you to put Candice Fortin high on your ranked-choice list. Candice is a Brooklyn activist with roots in Florida; I know her mainly from us both working, in different ways, to support last year's Florida referndum restoring voting rights to people with a past felony conviction, and Andrew Gillum's close race for governor. Fighting voter suppression, building the political power of voters of color, organizing a strong grassroots base for radical politics-- these are key strategic concerns where Candice has the kind of experience & vision our national convention will need.