NSW LEFT SECRETARY,
Most of us came out of last years back-to-back elections thinking we would have some clear air to regroup and organise. That is still true, but exactly what this time between elections looks like, how we organise, and what the goalposts are for progressive campaigning have radically changed since then.
Party Reform and the Lavarch Review
Last year, Left members mobilised to run the Fix NSW Labor campaign and demand real structural reform to the party. Hundreds of party members made submissions into the Lavarch review and attended our emergency meetings. Many joined the Left because they saw us being the only ones fighting for a party that reflected Labor values.
The Lavarch Review recommendations represent the most significant reforms to NSW Labor in a decade, but they don't go anywhere near far enough. We have built a broad base and momentum for change, and we will continue to fight for the big and necessary reforms needed.
Regional Working Group
Coming out of the last Left AGM, we convened a Regional Working Group which took on the issues of how we make involvement in the Left more accessible to our members outside of Sydney.
Headed up by Anthony D'Adam and Jan Burnswoods, we were able to bring together Left members from the regions and our Returning Officers to discuss these issues.
There were many fantastic ideas to come out of this group of how we build capacity and organise. There was strong feedback that training and campaigns were well received. People were interested in exploring options such as zoom for engaging with people across the state – something that we have deep-dived into in the current climate.
As an outcome of the groups' recommendations, the Left will be moving to an online voting option for country members. There is a strong preference for Left ballots to be held on weekends to allow attendance in person. If it is not possible to hold the meeting on a weekend, then there will be the ability to extend that online voting option to members outside of Sydney.
Building solidarity in isolation
COVID-19 is an isolating and scary time, and some of our members will feel the impacts of this more than others.
Labor Left members understand what solidarity means. Many Left members have taken our survey and volunteered their help to comrades, from assistance with groceries to regular phone check-ins.
We also know that just because we cannot meet in person, that shouldn't stop us from being actively involved in debate and discussion of policies and issues in our party.
We have launched two brand new websites; check out the NSW Left website [HYPERLINK] for the latest events, news and how to get involved, and the Challenge Magazine website [HYPERLINK] for fantastic new articles.
We are always keen for new articles for Challenge, especially from more diverse voices, so get in touch if you have an idea and are interesting in writing for us!
Finally, we have a jam-packed schedule of events online that I'd encourage you to jump onto – check out our upcoming events here.
An organised and active Left has never been more relevant than right now. I'm looking forward to working with all of you in some big fights for what we want our party and our society to look like.
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