• Third Party Builders: Interview with Mimi Soltysik

    mimi soltysik telling cops whatsup

    Mimi Soltysik

    Socialist Party USA Presidential Candidate





    How did you first get politicized? Radicalized? Active?

    It’s been a long process, man.

    I went through a lot of trouble, enough substance abuse to damage my health, and ultimately, I hit rock bottom.

    I was at a point in my early-thirties where I realized that I didn’t feel like I knew how to learn anymore. It was surreal.

    I had vague memories of being a small child, feeling hopeful about life. But damn, if there was a mistake to make, I was going to make it.

    So, I suppose I had a choice to make. I chose to clear my head and figure out what I was here for. I had a lot of catching up to do, I felt.

    Starting in my community, in Los Angeles, I started to connect with folks, hearing their stories.

    A few of us started to organize things like bicycle drives for children in South L.A., and clothing drives for survivors of human trafficking. The more we dove into that kind of work, the more it became apparent to me that, while the organizations were engaged in much-needed work, these cycles of oppression weren’t going to break with topical measures.

    Remember, at this point, I hadn’t begun to dig into socialism, so I’m sort of figuring this stuff out without really knowing much about systems, causes, etc. But, eventually, I got to that place. And once I got there, I really dove in.

    Life moves by so fast, man.


    Damn thanks for sharing that… Did music play any roles in this for you? I think I’ve seen a few things from you and interviews about you mentioning music as a key influence in your personal/political development?

    I’m not sure it played a role in my political development, although I suppose all of our experiences contribute to who we are.

    It was certainly an escape for me, like trying to reach another world where everything was going to be okay.

    But, I’d be lying if I said that my definition at the time of “okay” wasn’t misguided and somewhat fucked up.


    What was your definition of okay then, and whats it now?

    “Okay” at the time mostly meant not being able to feel and not being held to account for much of anything. “Okay” today? Revolution.


    I asked Mimi for his favorite song so that I could embed it into this interview.

    Mimi chose “Masked Laughter” by dälek.


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  • Interview with Jen McClellan SPUSA Vice-Chair and Student Organizer

    702766_1050565221653411_169352018_n(1)Jen McClellan

    Radical feminist poet, teacher, and activist
    Special abilities: extradimensional travel and Jedi mind tricks
    Age: 28
    Revolts and skates in: Koreatown

    How did you first get politicized? Radicalized? Active?

    My first boyfriend (seventh grade so we lasted about two weeks) listened to the bands stray cats and the clash and his cousin was into punk and skating. I started skating in fifth grade. My friend Sonja’s dad was a security guard at a local venue so we went to shows.

    So that whole counter culture scene got me reading lyrics and questioning the government and authority right?

    But I’d say learning how to act in a room with a grip of other people practicing modified consensus and direct democracy didn’t happen until I got involved with the Socialist Party USA (SPUSA) and the California Student Union (CASU) in 2013. How I got active with those groups is I heard about them and just dove in.

    I’m a kinesthetic learner so I have to get hands on to get an understanding of how things work.


    What are your current positions and roles with student organizing and the Socialist Party USA (and anything else)?

    I’m on the periphery of One Struggle (onestruggle.net) at CSUN (California State University, Northridge.) They just formed as a club. Last semester we were coming up with points of unity and circulating a petition to get CSUN to divest from fossil fuels. Really just establishing some roots, figuring out how we work together, trying to learn more about our campus.

    This semester we’re about to start rallying students in solidarity with the CSU professors strike. I’m reading about it online and scheduling interviews with professors to work up an article to submit to The Socialist (national publication of the SPUSA, www.thesocialist.us.) That way I’ll be informed when talking to students about what’s going on…

    For the SPUSA I’m currently the Female National Vice Chair and Local Organizer Liaison so I’m working with the National Committee and new members across the U.S. who are trying to get locals started. In the L.A. local I’m trying to facilitate an educational program for new members (we’re getting a lot of them lately) and do coalition work with Schools L.A. Students Deserve (www.schoolslastudentsdeserve.com) and Stop LAPD Spying (stoplapdspying.org.)

    But I’m also taking 4 classes and student teaching, so it is a lot to juggle.

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