Re: Temporary Solution? public works at a living wage/WP model

Tom Boland (
Mon, 30 Nov 1998 01:05:30 -0400

Judy Olsen <> of OPEIU Local 23 asks us:

>How about if the government (federal? state? county? municipal?) created
>another WPA?  Almost everywhere we go today we can't miss crossing a
>bridge, walking a forest path, or whatever that wasn't built by the WPA.

During US President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" era, the WPA paid
Woody Guthrie, a card carrying member of the International Workers of the
World, to write some of his folk songs.

Many hoboes were also active in IWW during the 1930's depression.  So were
people of color - side by side with "white trash", whose farms the banks
foreclosed.  Back then, as today, millions of homeless feet - brown, black,
red, yellow and white - trod dusty roads in search of work, safety and

Does anyone know if women had powerful roles in IWW?

Papers like the Hobo Times (not sure of name) helped to keep folks in the
train yards and jungle camps well versed on current issues.  Hoboes even
had their own college in Chicago, similar to the "social-action focused"
Free Universities of the 1960's and 1970's.

Yes to public works jobs for homeless, poor and underemployed, underpaid
folks.  We could build yurts for all, or rehab abandoned buildings for
_ownership_  and self-management by residents.  Sites could include
housing, workplaces, performance space, meeting and organizing space.

-- Tom

"Evreyone knows the boss is useless.
Organize for self-management." -- IWW slogan

"I'm just a workin' man.
I always ramble round.
I'm just a working, ramblin' man.
I roam from town to town.
Police make it hard
Wherever I may go.
'Cause I ain't got no home
In this world anymore."
-- Woodie Guthrie

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