MDC DSA 2018 Steering Committee Special Election

Table of Contents

Important Links

Important Election Dates

Nomination Deadline: November 4, 2018
Voting Begins: November 11, 2018

Note that this year’s vote will be conducted via OpaVote, an electronic voting platform. If you are a member in good standing, you should receive an email with instructions on November 11th. If you do not receive this email, please contact TempElectionWG@mdcdsa.org.

Voting Deadline: November 14, 2018 at 8PM

Position Available

Official descriptions of Steering Committee positions– as well as our chapter’s diversity requirements– can be found in our chapter bylaws.

Position Seats Available
At-Large Steering Member 1 (One)
Chapter Secretary 0 (Zero)
Chapter Treasurer 0 (Zero)

Candidates and Statements

Last update: 11/11/2018

The following candidates have received the requisite number of nominations and have accepted:

Candidate statements will be posted as they are made available.

Steering Committee (At-Large)

Ben D.

1. Please describe your involvement with Metro DC DSA. (750 Characters)

I have been an MDC DSA member since shortly after moving to DC in May of 2017. I have been active in the former Electoral Caucus since its formation. I was also the Compliance Officer for the Montgomery County Elections Working Group and helped with our field program, and have been active in our successful campaign to elect Emily Gasoi to School Board in Ward 1. I also helped design and present a candidate training for our ANC Campaign in DC. I have also tried to be active in our internal political conversations, and have a working knowledge of as many of our campaigns and formations as possible.

2. Why do you believe you are a good fit for this position? (750 Characters)

I am very excited there is such a great group of organizers running for the open steering seat this year. I believe I am a good fit for steering because of my years of organizing experience, my skills with administrative tasks such as accounting and data, and my commitment to openness and transparency within the chapter. I am excited to participate in the crucial conversations this election will hopefully begin. I am a committed socialist, and I understand that socialism is a real movement of the working class, with the tangible goal of ending capitalism, and our work must be dedicated to accomplishing that goal through mass politics.

3. What do you hope to accomplish for the chapter if elected to this position? (750 characters)

As a member of steering, I hope to make MDC DSA a more open, transparent, and democratic chapter. I will be an advocate for new members, and longtime members who feel disconnected from MDC DSA. In many ways, our chapter is a model, with our groundbreaking Stomp Out Slumlords campaign, our successful electoral program, and our Migrant Justice working group, to name just a few. Our chapter, however, has often suffered from a lack of communication between campaigns that often makes the work we do opaque to members. Members should be able to know what work we are doing, and why we are doing it. I hope that as a member of steering I can help our chapter’s political development as a socialist organization, and help continue our work building a chapter for all.

Caleb-Michael F.

1. Please describe your involvement with Metro DC DSA. (750 Characters)

I have been a member of Metro DC DSA since March when I relocated to DC for work. Prior to my involvement here I was an active member of NYC DSA (specifically the North Brooklyn branch) and I started the St. Louis Chapter of DSA in early 2017.

I jumped in with both feet joining the Labor Working Group and ANC Working Group trying to find my way in the chapter. I recently ran as a DSA endorsed candidate for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in my neighborhood and while lost, I learned a lot along the way about the process and met a ton of my neighbors!

2. Why do you believe you are a good fit for this position? (750 Characters)

I believe that I would be an asset to Steering as I have strong administrative and listening skills. I believe that we need someone with strong administrative skills to be able to manage the internal and external communications from the chapter. This will also require strong listening skills to hear from our members what is working and what isn’t. I don’t have all the answers to all the questions or concerns that everyone has about the chapter but know I will listen and work to find a solution.

3. What do you hope to accomplish for the chapter if elected to this position? (750 characters)

I want to build from the wins we have had, and build on the bylaw changes that were recently passed to build a chapter for all. One thing that I have heard from other comrades is the lack of access they have had to be able to jump right in and find a working group or caucus that suits them. There are also all kinds of members and I believe that steering is tasked with making sure that people are able to know about the ongoings of the chapter without coming to a meeting once a month per se but in whatever means is accessible for that comrade. We are growing and one of the things I want to tackle is the way we sign in to membership meetings, and win or lose will be suggesting it to Steering.

Ashik S.

1. Please describe your involvement with Metro DC DSA. (750 Characters)

I joined DSA in January 2017, and have focused most of my time with DC ReInvest’s campaign to divest DC from Wells Fargo and lay the groundwork for a public bank. That campaign has built our volunteer capacity to present DSA priorities at monthly Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs), and recently enabled us to support a slate of community organizers who ran as socialist ANC candidates across the District. As Ecosocialist Caucus co-chair, I’m always looking for ways that MDC DSA can advance climate justice, and have organized events around our related campaigns, from Danielle Meitiv’s electoral race to potential work toward energy democracy in DC. I’m looking forward to planning Socialist Night School’s upcoming lesson on ecosocialism!

2. Why do you believe you are a good fit for this position? (750 Characters)

Everything I’ve spent my energy on over the past year in MDC DSA has been about building connective tissue across our various efforts, and I’ve worked well with people from different campaigns and tendencies. My work in DSA has been highly collaborative, and I’ve become attuned to the need to develop support structures that allow new organizers to easily plug in and core organizers to step back as needed while the group sustains vital work. I’ve helped sustain the DC ReInvest Coalition by representing MDC DSA at biweekly meetings with other local grassroots orgs, and the work I’ve put into that campaign has prepared me take on the crucial and always abundant administrative tasks that keep our chapter going.

3. What do you hope to accomplish for the chapter if elected to this position? (750 characters)

One of MDC DSA’s biggest challenges is maintaining the capacity to support our active campaigns. We recently voted to pass some excellent reforms, and I’m particularly interested in implementing the Campaigns Council to increase communication and collaboration across campaigns, and to better amplify each others’ work to reach more Metro DC communities. I’d also like to help launch strategy forums as constructive spaces for working groups to share with the rest of the chapter what has or hasn’t worked for them—the DCRI crew has been discussing this internally, and I’d love to help our chapter model how to collectively understand our losses as lessons so we can keep building off of each others’ strengths and better prepare for the long haul.

Position Descriptions

The following descriptions have been provided by current and former members of the Steering Committee to provide potential candidates with a better understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities of each position.

Steering At-Large

Austin K., former Steering Committee
The duties of Steering – At Large, include: first and foremost ensuring that adherence to the bylaws is maintained, and that good faith efforts are made to fulfill resolutions; answering questions of process and organizing by the rank and file; assisting in setting up and organizing events; writing statements and resolutions; working with leads of other organizations to recruit to DSA, and building relationships with leads of movement organizations.

Chapter Secretary

Nat S., Secretary
The Secretary role is vital to administrative function and transparency within the chapter, enabling democracy in function as well as form. As Secretary, I take minutes at all chapter General Body Meetings and Steering Committee Meetings, ensure that votes are documented, file all passed Resolutions and Bylaws Amendments, and ensure that all of the above are available on the website for MDC DSA members to view publicly.

As a co-chair of the Administrative Committee, I am responsible for the smooth and effective functioning of the committee. The Administrative Committee works on tasks assigned by the Steering Committee, the General Body, or the co-chairs. Its functions include documentation of chapter decisions, structures, and history, maintaining databases and other technology, including member data, maintaining the health and security of chapter web resources and communications channels (including Slack, Facebook, and Twitter), GBM and event logistics, coordinating press outreach, and otherwise ensuring that the members have what they need to effectively organize.

As a member of Steering, the Secretary also has all the roles and responsibilities of an at-large Steering Committee member and is expected to contribute as such.

Chapter Treasurer

Aaron F., former Treasurer
The chapter Treasurer is the chair of the Finance Committee, a co-chair of the Admin Committee, and a voting member of the Steering Committee. As Treasurer, day-to-day responsibilities include: reviewing chapter expenditure requests, tracking our income from dues and donations, and tracking expenditures against our budget. The broader responsibilities shared with the Finance Committee are: developing the budget for the next period, implementing participatory budgeting, and analyzing our expenses to ensure the chapter is operating as efficiently as possible.

As a co-chair of the Admin Committee, the Treasurer helps oversee the internal administration of the chapter. Along with the Secretary, they ensure that chapter data and information is up-to-date, other committees and working groups have the resources they need, our internal and external communications are being handled, the General Body Meetings are properly planned and executed, and various other tasks that need to be done to keep the chapter healthy.

As a member of Steering, the day-to-day responsibilities include: reviewing chapter and member requests, discussing and voting on various proposals and issues, staying updated on national DSA and sharing relevant information with the chapter, and looking for new opportunities for the chapter (issues that we can take up, events that we should provide a statement on, etc.). Longer-term responsibilities are: creating a cohesive strategy for the chapter’s activities, coordinating with the Internal Organizing Committee to build and retain membership, strategizing on fundraising, and ultimately making sure the chapter is healthy and happy!

1. Please describe your involvement with Metro DC DSA. (750 Characters)

2. Why do you believe you are a good fit for this position? (750 Characters)

3. What do you hope to accomplish for the chapter if elected to this position? (750 characters)