by Partisan Staff; this article was originally published in Partisan issue no. 25, printed May 2008.

On March 30 at the State Central Committee meeting in Los Angeles, the Peace and Freedom Party made a definitive decision to go national. A National Organizing Committee was set up, and a basic plan was adopted and referred to the NOC for implementation.

Planning both to organize new chapters in some states and to work with existing organizations in others, the committee will continue the existing Supporting Membership program, recruiting individual members throughout the country.

Dues from new supporting members in states outside of California will be directed toward national organizing. The NOC may also raise funds through separate donations specifically for organizing work.

The motion adopted by the SCC specified that the NOC have a "composition reflecting the broad diversity of the Peace and Freedom Party." The initial appointments, including several members of the State Executive Committee, appear to include supporters of all four of the recognized candidates for the Presidential nomination at the August convention.

The long-range aim expressed in the motion was the development of a multi-state "multi-tendency non-sectarian organization committed to socialism, democracy, feminism, environmentalism and racial equality."

One of the specific actions delegated to the NOC, in cooperation with the Party's website committee, is the development of an appropriate web presence for the National Organizing Committee.

The NOC is required to report on its work at the State Convention on August 2 and 3, and at each meeting of the State Central Committee thereafter.

South State Chair Kevin Akin, the convenor of the NOC, asks anyone interested in seeing the Peace and Freedom Party spread to other states to sign up as a supporting member and get in touch with the NOC. "We need names and addresses of interested people, we need to know what organizations may be interested in participating in building a national coalition, we need candidates for the 2010 election all around the country, and we need you."

Other organizing plans were discussed by the State Central Committee, including holding a wide-ranging organizational conference in December 2008 to start building for the 2010 campaign. While the conference is basically intended to make California plans, there was some talk about including participants from other states.

"Our organizational model, a broad Left umbrella organization that does both electoral and nonelectoral work, and enables many on the left of various views to obtain ballot status with relative ease, could certainly be helpful in many states," comments Akin.

"There were Peace and Freedom Party or Peoples Party affiliates in many states thirty to forty years ago, and one by one most succumbed to the two-party gangup, or were taken over by opportunist organizations and destroyed. Rebuilding that national coalition can make a real difference for the working people of our country."

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