A LaborFest Presentation: Loretta Starvus Stack, Communist Organizer, Community Gardener, and Her Fight for Rights of Free Speech
Tucked away in a scenic cul-de-sac on on the crest of Glen Canyon Park Recreation Area sits one of the most charming community gardens in San Francisco. In this LaborFest presentation, Evelyn Rose, Director of the Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project, will share the significant life history of Diamond Heights resident and Communist organizer Loretta Starvus Stack, founder of Crags Court Community Gardens and wife of local icon and Marine, Fireman, Oiler and Watertenders Union member Walter Stack. At the height of the Cold War and McCarthyism, Ms. Stack played a key role in the clarification of the intent of the Alien Registration Act – also known as the Smith Act of 1940 – that originally denied First Amendment rights to those choosing to discuss the overthrow of the Federal government.
At the age of 17 in 1930, Loretta Starvus organized a strike of approximately 1000 workers at the American Thread Company in Connecticut. Shortly after, she studied at the Lenin School in Moscow and later returned to New York where she organized fur workers. By 1942, she was in Los Angeles organizing electricians and fighting against unfair labor practices. After the war,Â she was the Organizing Secretary for the California Communist Party and was arrested with several other members under the Smith Act. She and her colleagues took their case for the right to free speech to the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided in their favor and determined the Smith Act to be unconstitutiona
The Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project presents numerous events in various venues around Glen Park. View their events schedule here: GPNHP Events.
Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.
The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
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