The author, hoping for better luck this hunting season…

By Michael Mottern

In Western New York, NY Governor Kathy Hochul takes the lead on all things conservation, especially when it comes to the state troopers and conservation police.  After all, it is the state government with the help of the town clerks’ office that issues the licenses for deer hunting during shotgun season in Western New York which includes most parts of Erie and Niagara county. 

What is Shotgun Season? It is a particular season in the South zone of New York State, (the area that encompasses the greater Buffalo area) and is practiced primarily because of the geographic nature of the land. Buffalo and Niagara counties are mostly flat land, so naturally you can’t use a rifle that would be in a more hilly area with mountainous terrain. That’s alien to hunters from Pennsylvania and the Adirondacks that are more used to rifles instead of shotguns for deer hunting, and are part of the various regulations that go with New York State stringent gun laws. Shotgun season encompasses Erie and Niagara county during bow and regular season, regular season being shotgun season for deer.

In America, hunting is not the same as it is in Europe. In the United States local hunting for deer and turkey is primarily a very common person’s thing to do in the sticks. In Europe however, hunting is more reserved for the aristocrats that generally take a more center-right conservative point of view when it comes to government. There, people that hunt are more doctors or lawyers or others from the upper classes, where here the only thing you can call an aristocrat is either the Kennedy family or a corporate executive.

So local hunting for deer is more a commoner’s activity than that of a very rich person who would prefer to either go abroad or to another state to hunt where it’s more expensive. Whatever it is: it’s not cheaper than the local hunting of deer especially in a place like Western New York which is strictly a shotgun zone. I once met an individual that hunted on the state public land with me, that lived in the Sheridan Park housing project and was a volunteer firefighter in the Town of Tonawanda. I myself could never afford to go hunting in other states like bison hunting, or elk hunting, or moose hunting in Maine – that’s very expensive! The license, the guide, the horse (because it’s such a mountainous terrain), you’ve got to pay to ship your rifle, and you have to pay for a lodge. So the prices are mounting and get more difficult the further out you go, whereas, local hunting is the very opposite.

To purchase a doe permit in the state of New York, you must first be licensed with a course that is about 4 days long, then purchase your license depending on the season, that alone will cost you $45; if you’re not a disabled veteran then it’s $25 sometimes even free if you’re a lifetime member, and you’re allowed to harvest up to five animals four female, one male. Or, four does and one buck. That’s several hundred pounds of meat, and all for the cost of $45. More if you want extra tags for turkey or muzzle loading, but affordable no doubt if you know somebody and have been collecting safety gear like clothing for a number of years since you were 16 if you’re raising a hunting family.

The fact is at least 23% of leftists are firearms owners that include assault weapons that are military grade like, AR-15s or any other type of assault weapon. We even know that the National Rifle Association from its inception was about safety, now arguably less about safety and more about John Locke. Lockianism, is when a political philosophy that actually influenced Thomas Jefferson makes it onto the center stage when it comes to gun rights in America because Jefferson himself was influenced by the 18th century philosopher. The philosophy that proclaims “if the government gets too tyrannical, the ordinary well armed citizen has the right to overthrow it.?”  Since the year 2000 the NRA has been actively engaging in smear campaigns of mostly progressive and moderate Democrats, perverting that very philosophy of John Locke. The NRA is now less about safety and more about secession.

We need to reward small farmers many of whom are hunters and reward them for ecologically sound and sustainable farming that doesn’t damage the environment, and that can benefit the Earth by lowering temperatures when it comes to global warming. We know the majority of carbon that pollutes the air comes primarily from factory farms in Asia, North America and India, but what can we as hunters and concerned citizens do about it besides rewarding small farmers? We can start consuming less and thinking globally more.

It’s been several years since I got my last harvest when it comes to deer. It’s been rough, going years without getting one and enduring higher temperatures in the woods which inhibit our hunting abilities, where cooler or colder hunting is more ideal. As hunters, it is our duty to go against factory farms, be for a regulatory measure on firearms, and curb global warming by regulating the nation’s heaviest industries. As hunters and concerned citizens we must rise up and revolt politically! For a better world and a better environment!

Wish me luck hunting!

Michael Mottern is the Social Democrats USA first vice chair.

The Anti–American Machine

By Allen Coleman

We the people of the United States of America periodically take up grievances against our government and big corporations.

The working class often has socialist/communist ties, which since the McCarthyism era of.politics has been a hot topic, but it shouldn’t be. What best describes the working class? The modern American family; in a nuclear family unit, comprised of a mom, dad, kids, and maybe even grandparents. That family is often below, or right at poverty and lives paycheck to paycheck; with little to no savings. The dad works a regular job making $40,000 annually and is taxed accordingly. That family is comfortable and okay, while another working-class family receives social welfare. This family is quite the same in its family unit, yet because of numerous factors like financial, medical, or mental the family can’t provide as much for themselves. These groups of individuals are taxed accordingly and fairly.

The workers are slowly becoming burdened with rising inflation and lower wages. These get set by big corporations and the same corporations hand out the low wages. This is a system designed to keep the working class down, in a constant state of survival and suffering. The working class is too busy working to break free of poverty, while the people we elect to represent us; care more about their lobbyists’ donors. They might give us a show when it iselection season and make us think we get a real say in the government, yet they’re all just status-quo stand-ins for whoever bought them out.

The two-party (Republican/Democrats) system is designed to give false hope to the working class. At the same time, our own trivialities divide us, and the information continuously changes with the news/media increasingly straying away from telling the truth, instead selling headlines and clicks.

We can use our greatest weapon against them; voting. We can elect candidates who don’t play the political game and who stand up to the media. We elect politicians with clear policies and concerns for the community, and we vote. What is voting? It’s when the system shakes and democracy starts anew.

Our two-party system is the death of democracy. How did democracy where everyone gets a voice, end up like this?  In a first-world country; built on diversity; how did it end up with two parties that don’t represent the American people, but instead the elite? When did “we the people…” turn into “we the corporations…”?

Allen Coleman, a new contributor, is a member of Kansas City, Kansas SDUSA


Whereas Hamas is a terrorist group that has declared repeatedly that its goal is the destruction of Israel by any means including the murder of civilians,

Whereas On October 7th, Hamas inflicted the deadliest day for Israelis in the history of Israel,

Whereas some groups on the political left have justified Hamas’s terrorism,

Whereas Israeli settlers have taken illegal actions against Palestinians in the West Bank and the Israeli government has allowed, or even endorsed, these actions,

Therefore, be it resolved by the NEC of Social Democrats USA that we:

*Call for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas and all Palestinians held by Israel under administrative detention,

*Call for a ceasefire, to allow in humanitarian goods and to let civilians leave Gaza,

*Call attention to the problem Palestinians have in movement into and out of Israel for business and personal reasons,

*Condemn Netanyahu and his cabinet for not defending Israel against Hamas’ attacks,

*Condemn Israeli settlers’ illegal behavior in the West Bank,

*Condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization,

*Condemn those leftist groups who supported the October 7th attack,

*Condemn examples of rising anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

— Passed unanimously by the National Executive Committee (NEC) on November 14, 2023.


Editor’s Note: Continuing our retrospective on the American “sewer socialism” movement

Hartford City Alderman Josh Michtom

By Jason Sibert

My series of stories on sewer socialism represents a lot of things – interesting research where I learned new things about the concept of sewer socialism, a chance to review things I already knew, the opportunity to integrate the ideas of thinkers from a variety of schools of thought, and the hearing of positive feedback.

The one thing I had hoped would develop as the series has progressed is a new breed of aldermen, alderwomen, and mayors who would take the ideas from the stories and put them into action. There are municipal politicians who are working toward a modern version of “sewer socialism,” and I don’t think they’ve read my series, as far as I know, but they are generating ideas for others to use.

The publication “In These Times” recently ran a story on “sidewalk socialism,” a new form of the old “sewer socialism” I recently talked with Aldermen Josh Michtom of Hartford, Connecticut, a city of 121,000 people, who said “sewer socialism” served as an inspiration for his political career. Michtom serves on the council as a member of the Working Families Party. “My conception of what government at any level is, is to maximize common good and provide for the common welfare in a way that individuals can’t do on their own,” said Michtom There are not a lot of WFP members in Hartford, the Democrats are the dominant party, but the mission of the party in the city is to bring the most marginalized people in the municipality into the conversation, said Michtom. He also said the party represents the “best foot forward to take toward an equitable society.”

Two city council members in the New England city are WFP members – Michtom and Tiana Hercules. Alex Thomas will run on the WFP ticket in November’s election. Following the contours of sewer socialism, the party pushed for an efficient delivery of public services. In the realm of public safety, WFP pushed for reform of the city’s police civilian review board, giving it a capacity to review and discipline police who are not within the bounds of the law. Micthtom said WFP in Hartford wants to tackle the root causes of crime – lack of affordable housing, recreation services for families and children, and education. WFP also fought for and won the appointment of more fire and housing inspectors, funds to help renters facing evictions, and resources for immigrants facing deportation. The WFP is all about cities for people and not for profit!

Government (the city is the capital of Connecticut), insurance, medical care, education, technology, and research powers Hartford’s economy. The Hartford (insurance), Traveler’s Companies (insurance), the University of Connecticut, and Hartford Healthcare (Healthcare) are among the city’s biggest employers. While these economic activities bring the city much in the way of economic growth, admitted Michtom, they also bring problems. Many of the people who work in these industries live in the suburbs which means they use city services without contributing to the city’s tax base as much as residents, a common problem in central cities. The city’s non-profit hospitals and public golf courses are used by suburbanites, said Michtom.

In the 20th century, sewer socialists were known for certain things – efficient delivery of public services, fighting corruption to give taxpayers the best bang for their tax buck, and fighting for municipalization of certain services (sewers, electric grids, trash collection, ect.) In Hartford, the Metropolitan District Commission, a public municipal corporation, provides drinking water and sewer systems to the city and surrounding cities.

Michtom said he considers a municipally run grocery store on the North side of town a possibility. “We have areas of our city which are food desserts,” he said. The alderman also said that there are areas where private grocery operators won’t locate because the profits aren’t high enough. He considers grocery stores a public good and that he supports a study of the viability of such a store.

The sewer socialist said that Hartford experienced some gentrification, but it’s limited and not a huge issue at this time. At the same time, affordable housing is an issue. He said he would like to see rent control, illegal under Connecticut law, and more public housing, as public housing limits the amount landlords can charge by offering an affordable alternative. Michtom also supports better housing codes. However, his ideas on housing extends into municipalization, as Michtom supports city-owned housing. He said the city can purchase old buildings and the buildings of current landlords and turn into affordable, city-owned housing. “I’d like to see a Hartford that’s focused on improving the lives of residents,” he said. “We spend too much time trying to attract outside investors…” 

Let’s hope the revival of sewer socialism continues. Maybe there’s more sewer socialists candidates reading this series just waiting in the wings!

Jason Sibert is the Executive Director of the Peace Economy Project in St. Louis.

SDUSA Endorses KS State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau’s Bill Mandating Racial Tracking of Maternal Mortality Rates in Kansas

Social Democrats USA knows that we cannot move forward into full democratic brotherhood without repairing the harm caused by past and present racism. One wound we must address is a disparity in our healthcare system in which a Black mother is nearly three times more likely to die of pregnancy or childbirth-related complications than a white or Hispanic mother.

In Kansas, some encouraging news is that UHC Kansas Medicaid is partnering with doulas to help right this injustice by providing free doula care for Black expectant mothers in Kansas City, Kansas. Please see our April, 2023 interview with doula Jaima Saunders, founder of Mommy Diaries: a Doula Co., LLC to understand how having a healthcare provider who “mothers the mother” can lead to healthier outcomes for mother and baby.

On a concerning note, Republicans in the Kansas Senate keep opposing a bill, which Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau keeps tirelessly reintroducing, mandating racial tracking of maternal mortality rates in Kansas. For reparative initiatives like free doula care for Black mothers to continue being approved and expanded throughout the state, racial statistics are an essential part of documenting the health injustices so disproportionately suffocating our Black neighbors. 

Senator Faust-Goudeau will be working to pass this legislation again in her new Senate session starting in January of 2024, and SDUSA joins forces with the the Senator and her determined partner Kansas Birth Equity Network, founded and directed by Dr. Sharla Smith, in spreading awareness so that lawmakers are aware that the whole world is watching as they vote on whether to get clear data on the state of Black birth equity in Kansas. Please join us one and all in pushing for this long-overdue stride towards equality!

–Passed unanimously by the National Executive Committee on October 10.