LOCAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:
Christian Chiakulas – Chair
Charley Earp – Secretary
Nelly Castillo – Treasurer
Art Kazar – Membership Steward
The Chicago Socialist Party is the official local of the Socialist Party USA in Chicago, IL. Like all Socialist Party chapters we pride ourselves on being autonomous and horizontal in organization and practice, with our actions available to all members and organized by all members. We believe that only through Democratic Socialism can we create the foundations of a truly revolutionary, anti-capitalist, Socialist society made of the workers, by the workers, for the workers. While we support progressive campaigns to push for a better quality of life for our brothers and sisters we also recognize that capitalism is inherently flawed, and cannot be reformed. That is why the Socialist Party USA advocates for the abolition of capitalism and radical political organization outside of the capitalist Democratic and Republican Parties. As such our aim is to build a mass party of the people; we are a party of ACTION, and will not sit idly while our brothers and sisters are oppressed daily. Direct action gets the goods, and we will work to the best of our ability and capacity in order to achieve a new system that benefits us all.
The Chicago Local is made up of all members of the Socialist Party USA in good standing who live in the City of Chicago and in the rest of Cook County.
Members in any towns and cities outside Chicago, but in Cook County may establish their own Locals when they meet the requirements to do so.
The Cook County Socialist Party was founded in 1896 as a response to the Pullman strike in Chicago. It held its first convention two years later. In 1901 it joined with other socialist parties in the state to form the Socialist Party of Illinois. The state party affiliated with the national party as well as its leader Eugene Debs and grew in membership throughout the first two decades of the twentieth century, but declined after World War One due primarily to severe political repression by the US government.
The Cook County Socialist Party (CCSP) was comprised of members who belonged to one of the party branches located within the county. The majority of the branches were from Chicago identified by wards, and included others located in suburbs within Cook County including Berwyn, Cicero, Thornton, Northfield, Maywood, and Oak Park. There were also branches that were designated by their ethnicity and were referred to as the “foreign speaking organizations.” These included German, Hungarian, Italian, Jewish, Lettish, Polish, Lithuanian, Finnish, Russian, Scandinavian, Slavic, and Bohemian branches.