Friday, August 20, 1999

Labor History: Labor and Liberalism: The Citizen Labor Energy CoalitionAugust, 1999 by Andrew Battista

~~ In March 1981 , `TP's first activist job was with C/LEC
on West 72nd Street in NYC .

This in-depth article highlights its political and historical importance in American social activism.
I was very glad to find this paper online .
I though C/LEC was all but forgotten ~ ~ t


Labor History: Labor and Liberalism:
The Citizen Labor Energy Coalition:
August, 1999
by Andrew Battista

"On April 19-20, 1978, representatives of nearly 70 labor and political organizations met at the DuPont Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC, for the founding conference of the Citizen Labor Energy Coalition (CLEC).

CLEC was formed during the second energy crisis to represent working and middle-class citizens, challenge the power and priorities of the energy industry, and reform energy policy.

It had another, even more ambitious purpose: to revive and strengthen liberal and progressive politics by coalition-building between labor unions, citizen organizations, and public interest groups.

CLEC made limited yet significant progress toward these goals by the mid-1980s, when it was absorbed into a larger organization and declined in importance.

Though neglected by scholars in both fields, CLEC's role in contemporary labor history and American politics is worthy of attention, above all because it addressed a crucial issue of American public life: the relationship between the decline of organized labor and the decay of liberal and progressive politics.

As a number of political scientists and labor historians have shown, the labor movement was central to the liberal coalition that shaped national politics from the 1930s to the mid-1960s. Since then, two developments (among others) contributed greatly to the weakening of liberalism: the economic and........"