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The 2014 Debs -- Thomas -- Harrington Dinner was held somewhat later than usual for the simple reason that we moved the Chicago DSA office in January, and we knew very well that mailings and such would be on the back burner while the whole process of relocating took place. As it turned out, the planning for the event was very much delayed as well, more than we imagined it would be. But as is the case with live performance, come the date: It happens, ready or not. Fortunately, we had two honorees, Robin Potter and Larry Spivack, who took their roles as honorees very seriously (This is not always the case.) and a speaker, Leone Bicchieri, who made a passionate and fresh presentation. The supporting cast was every bit as good: Bill Barclay as Master of Ceremonies, past honoree Rose Daylie to present the award to Larry Spivack, and Jackson Potter (a young labor activist from the Chicago Teachers Union) to present the award to Robin Potter.
Bill Barclay
Master of Ceremonies Bill Barclay makes a pitch for CDSA's poster sale. All photos by John Scott.

 Potter Award
Robin Potter & Jackson Potter
Dinner awardee Robin Potter (left) with Jackson Potter.
 Nieves Bolanos translates for Juan Melchor Roman from the Mexican teachers union.
Larry Spivack & Rose Daylie Spivack Award
Past honoree Rose Daylie (right) presented the award to Larry Spivack.

We had planned on recording the event, but those plans fell through. Chicago DSA's podcast, Talkin' Socialism, did an interview with Leone Bicchieri a few years earlier that overlaps Bicchieri's speech at the Dinner:



Leone Jose Bicchieri
Dinner Program Participants

Debs Thomas Harrington

Tickets must be reserved no later than Tuesday, May 13.

A limited number of tickets may (or may not) be available at the door at $80 per person.

To order tickets by mail, CLICK HERE for a printable flyer (PDF).

To order individual tickets: If you cannot attend, please consider making a donation: To order reserved tables:
(tables seat 8)
We may have some tickets available at the door @ $80, depending on the turnout.  
 Sorry, tables are no longer available.

Please note that we do not receive or keep any credit card information.
Contributions are not tax deductible.

April, 2014

Dear Friends:

You are invited to celebrate 56 years of the Eugene V. Debs -- Norman Thomas -- Michael Harrington Dinner. Our event this year will be on Friday evening, May 16, at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, right next door to the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago.

This year we commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's "War on Poverty" that he declared at his State of the Union speech in 1964. We could do this as if it were a novel by Alexander Dumas, The War on Poverty: Fifty Years After. But after decades of retreat and surrender, it's time for a new war on poverty, one that is not an act of charity granted by a guilty nation but a demand for justice from those on the short end of the dollar, the mean end of respect, and the dead end of alternatives.

Our program features Leone Jose Bicchieri, the Executive Director of the Chicago Workers Collaborative, one of Chicago's worker centers that make up the cutting edge of the new labor movement. Bicchieri is a passionate advocate for justice, and the Chicago Workers Collaborative has been on the forefront of building coalitions between Latino and African-American workers. The Dinner has a long tradition of having cogent speakers with important messages and you will not be disappointed.

The honorees this year are Larry Spivack and Robin Potter.

Robin Potter & Associates Robin Potter is an employment law attorney with her own firm, Potter and Associates. Her firm has been involved in supporting the Chicago Teachers Union's struggles with the City. Potter is a longtime promoter of union democracy, an advocate for victims of wage theft, and a defender of whistle-blowers.
Robin Potter (3rd from the right) and Associates.
Larry Spivack is an educator and life-long labor activist. He is Regional Director for AFSCME Council 31 and he is President of the Illinois Labor History Society. AFSCME has been a major player in the fight to preserve public services and in pushing back against resolving Illinois' fiscal difficulties on the backs of public employees. As President of the Illinois Labor History Society, Spivack has helped regain May Day as Labor's holiday and helped restore the Haymarket Martyrs' Monument. The work of the Illinois Labor History Society reminds us that the fights that may seem so fresh and contemporary typically have parallels in our history and that both victory and defeat can be ephemeral. Spivack

Please join us in expressing support for the fine work these two individuals have been doing. You can do this in two ways. One is to join us on Friday, May 16. A flyer with which you can order tickets is HERE. If you cannot attend, or even if you will, you can place an ad or a greeting with your message in the Dinner Program Book. We can also accept orders on line. Vegetarian meals are available. Questions? Email, call or write.

Your solidarity is very much appreciated,

Robert M. Roman, secretary
for the Dinner Committee

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