July 14, 2023

July 14, 2023



  • UPS Strike-Ready wheatpasting and canvass — Sunday, July 16

  • ACTION ALERT: Call the Montgomery County Council to win rent stabilization

  • Fundraise to send delegates to convention — Sunday, July 16

UPS Strike-Ready wheatpasting and canvass — Sunday, July 16

Join DSA members in Brookland (4th St NE & Franklin St NE) this Sunday at 11am to wheatpaste and canvass in support of Teamsters fighting for a fair contract at UPS. The clock is ticking on a potential nationwide labor stoppage — currently slated to begin on August 1 — that would see more than 340,000 Teamsters working at UPS go on strike. Ensuring the public is aware of this labor fight and visibly seeing pro-union messages is critical in building community solidarity if a strike occurs. Materials and training will be provided on location; temperatures are forecasted to be hot, so please prepare accordingly.

P.S. If you have not already, make sure to sign DSA’s strike ready pledge here and get ready to join DMV UPS Teamsters on the picket line (and/or provide support in other ways) on August 1 by filling out this form.

ACTION ALERT: Call the Montgomery County Council to win rent stabilization

After years of organizing, countless testimonies from tenants, thousands of doors knocked and more, the Montgomery County Council is poised to vote on rent stabilization legislation this coming Tuesday, July 18. The bill being considered by the council would cap rent increases to 3% + Consumer Price Index annually, with a permanent maximum increase of 6%. Landlords and other rent stabilization opponents are making their opposition to this legislation known. Here’s how you can help:

  • The Montgomery County branch is asking Montgomery County residents to call three key council members to let them know that the people support a strong rent stabilization bill before the vote. Use this sample script to make calls.

MoCo DSA and the HOME Act Coalition are planning to show up at the County Council building at 8am on July 18 to ensure that the County Council passes rent stabilization. RSVP here.

Fundraise to send delegates to convention — Sunday, July 16

Come eat some delicious food and help send chapter delegates to the DSA National Convention at our fundraiser/picnic at Malcolm X Park this weekend, Sunday, July 16 from 5 to 8pm. The travel and lodging involved in the convention are not cheap, so this is a great opportunity to raise money and hang out with comrades. If you cannot make it to the picnic, consider helping phonebank the chapter — there are shifts on Sundays and Wednesdays, and you can call outside of them, too. And feel free to donate whatever you can here — no worker should be excluded from organizing due to lack of funds.

Washington Socialist is the monthly digital publication produced by members of the Metro DC DSA and will be on a modified summer schedule; see Info Access for more details.

Washington Socialist is the monthly digital publication produced by members of the Metro DC DSA and will be on a modified summer schedule; see Info Access for more details. View our Bastille Day edition here.

Congressional Republicans are attacking the District. Again. What’s DC going to do about it? Congressional Republicans, having solved the rest of America’s problems, are pivoting their energies into DC municipal politics. Can the District rally a defense?

DC should municipalize its energy utility and embrace public power. DC’s local public power utility, Pepco, depends on government regulations and approval to be a rentier over our electricity bills. But this is also its vulnerability: the working class can take command and redirect Pepco’s energy and money for the public good.

Sex, Power and True Crime. A genre frequently maligned. True crime has always been a media phenomenon – but the style’s interaction with social media has opened up a new mode of engagement for its fans.

Book Review: Storms of the Revolution. Connecting what is to what could be forms the framework of what the socialist movement is or should be about. Within the nexus between the two the nine short stories comprising Storms of the Revolution are set, providing readers an imagined glimpse of what might be to help light the path that lies ahead. After the Storm is a future fiction project born out of Metro DC DSA’s publications team.

Socialism on a Shoestring. Socialists from across the country are beginning their march to Chicago for the DSA’s national convention. Included in this article: A fiscal analysis of the DSA, laying out the hard choices delegates will be tasked with as national priorities and campaigns are considered.

Onward slate moves to national convention at a local cost. In this editorial, a local member and labor organizer considers the costs of our delegate election. Productive follow-up: How should the local conduct its elections in the future, and how can we prepare members to engage in organizational politics?


Socialist Night School on Social Housing — Thursday, July 20

Join us for a Socialist Night School on Social Housing on Thursday, July 20 at 6:30pm, a hybrid event held at the Petworth Library and online. The Night School will feature as panelists Empower DC’s Parisa Norouzi, Tenants Together’s Shanti Singh and Nadia Salazar Sandi of DC Jobs with Justice. The Night School will cover the housing problem in the DC area, why public housing is an essential policy to address it, how public housing has helped working people live in cities such as Vienna, what the Green New Deal for DC campaign is all about and how to get involved in the fight in DC, Montgomery County and beyond. Sign up and learn more here.


Defund MPD retreat — Sunday, 1 – 3:30pm

The Defund MPD working group will be holding its mid-year planning retreat this Sunday, from 1-3:30pm at the DC Shaw Library, Meeting Room 1. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

At the meeting, members will review its Biannual Report, review status of the city-wide coalition, and review quarterly planning over the remaining six months. New members who are interested in organizing around building a socialist, abolitionist approach to public safety are invited to join.

Support Compliments Only workers in unionization effort — Saturday, 11:30am

Workers at Compliments Only, a sandwich shop in Dupont Circle, have started the process of unionizing, and management has not yet recognized them. This Saturday, July 15 at 11:30am, there will be a presentation of demands and a walk out; come out and support the workers as they march on the boss and off the job.


​DMV-wide socialists convene in productive, if tense, General Body Meeting​ at Mt. Pleasant​ library

​Last Sunday, over 80 members of Metro DC DSA convened at the Mt. Pleasant library ​to conduct the chapter’s July General Body Meeting (GBM)​. The GBM was the first hybrid meeting ​since the pandemic and included debate on two resolutions ​— one that will approve the hybrid format for general body meetings going forward, and another which would formalize the DSA’s resolution submission process. (Chapter members can submit statements in support ​or against the legislation through the chapte​r’s Red Desk by Sunday, July 16.) A discussion on internal politics was also facilitated by Steering members Imara and Allison, focused on addressing leftover tensions from the chapter’s recent delegate elections.

Though the meeting began tense, the fault lines dividing chapter members dissolved at the post-meeting happy hour​​, where members spoke frankly about their expectations​ and​ disagreements.​ The general consensus: the need to talk more ​openly and directly about ​structural political disagreements​;​ the ​expansion of space​s and forums​ for dialogue and debate; ​and ​the need for stronger information management​ and distribution to ensure all members can fully participate in internal processes​.

FRESH STARTS Act to Transform and Reform DC Jail Food Gets First Hearing

On Thursday, the District Council’s Judiciary Committee held its first hearing for the Food Regulation Ensures Safety Hospitality Special Training Aids Reentry Transition and Success (“FRESH STARTS”) Act of 2023. Despite little advertisement about the hearing or the bill from the Committee or bill sponsors, 50 witnesses signed up to testify, including many returned citizens and ANC 7F08 (serving the DC Jail) Commissioner Leonard Bishop. The FRESH STARTS Act was inspired by Community Conversations with returned citizens held in 2021 and led by DC Greens, which revealed the devastating and dangerous state of food in DC’s correctional facilities. Returned citizens reported receiving spoiled, unsanitary and unappetizing meals routinely, and also said that food and water were withheld as a form of punishment. A yet-to-be publicly-released survey of over 200 currently incarcerated persons conducted by ANC Bishop appears to show that little has improved since the 2021 Community Conversations.

If passed, the FRESH STARTS Act would improve nutrition standards in DC’s corrections facilities, strengthen oversight and reporting around food programs, require incarcerated food workers to be paid minimum wage, improve the quality of ingredients via the adoption of the Good Food Purchasing Program, establish a healthy food task force to promote and improve the quality of meals and expand access to hospitality career training and employment support upon release. Visit the Jail Food Reform campaign page to stay abreast of future training and advocacy opportunities.


Union Kitchen leafleting continues — save the date for July 22 rally

Union Kitchen Workers United are continuing their boycott campaign against Union Kitchen, a result of management’s persistent refusal to come to the table and bargain in good faith. Workers are looking for volunteers to help pass out flyers outside of Union Kitchen locations, particularly on weekends, with open slots available at various locations. View the schedule/locations and sign up here.

The union is planning a rally on Saturday, July 22 at 11am in front of 1924 8th Street NW, Washington DC. There will be speakers and music, as well as information on ways to get involved in the fight for fair working conditions at Union Kitchen. Socialists interested in volunteering to help promote and facilitate the event can reach out to @Kurtis (he/him) on Slack.

Apply for chapter-wide Organizer Training — starting next month

Applications for the Summer 2023 Organizer Training are open, and both chapter members and allies are invited to apply! The training will form a cohort of up to 20 people — both new and rising organizers, and experienced organizers looking to improve or renew their organizing skills — and will use hands-on methods learned from chapter trainers that teach principles of being an organizer. Modules will include Why We Organize, Developing Leadership, How to Hold Relational Organizing Conversations and more, and trainings will be held at a mutually convenient time weekly (either Sunday or Tuesday nights) for five weeks. Learn more and apply here.


Publications Board approves working bylaws

The seven-member Publications Board held its second meeting last Monday (minutes here). The board approved a new set of bylaws (clean copy linked here) and identified a number of operating procedures that need to be clarified for the broader publications cooperative. More details on the immediate priorities of the board can be found in the #publications channel on the chapter Slack. If you are interested in joining the publications cooperative, you can sign up to be contacted through the form linked here, or join the #publications channel on the Metro DC DSA chapter slack.


Publications Schedule: Updates will be published weekly throughout the summer — Fridays, July 21 and 28; August 4, 11, 18 and 25 — with Publications WG adopting a summer schedule for the Washington Socialist; the Bastille Day issue arrives with this Update, and the Friday, September 1 Update brings our Labor Day issue. The article deadline for the Labor Day Washington Socialist is Saturday, August 26; send submissions to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.

Quick reference links for MDC DSA:

And live from our studio Wednesday, July 19, 8 – 9pm | MDC DSA’s Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation – includes live Q&A

Weekly Update Tip Line: The Metro DC DSA Tip Line is live. Tell us what you think we should be covering. Or join us on #publications Slack channel.


Saturday, July 15

1:30 – 4:30pm | Stomp Out Slumlords’ Anti-Eviction Canvas

Sunday, July 16

5 – 8pm | Convention Delegate Fundraiser/Picnic

Tuesday, July 18th

6 – 7pm | Medicare for All Working Group Meeting

Wednesday, July 19

8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation

Thursday, July 20

6 – 8pm | NoVA Social Gathering

6:30 – 8:30pm | Social Housing: Socialist Night School (hybrid)

7 – 8pm | NoVA Labor Monthly Working Group Meeting

Wednesday, July 26th

7 – 8pm | Defund NoVA Police Working Group Meeting

Sunday, July 30

11am – 6pm | Sunday Funday Food Drive and Fundraiser (in person, NoVA Branch, open to all)

Monday, August 1st

6 – 7pm | NoVA Migrant Justice Working Group Meeting


DC Minimum Wage increases to $17/hr

As of July 1, the new DC minimum wage is $17/hour for non-tipped workers and $8/hour for tipped workers! Thanks to the passage of Initiative 82, the minimum wage for tipped workers continues to increase and will be phased out to match the District minimum wage by 2027. A reminder for tipped workers: If a worker’s total earnings, including tips, fall short of the minimum wage (now $17/hour), the employer must cover the difference to ensure the employee receives the full minimum wage. Learn more via DC Wage Law.

Air Quality Continues to Be Dangerous | Alert DC

Air quality on Wednesday, July 12 was reported to be Code Orange (this means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups) and may continue to be potentially hazardous throughout the week. Those concerned or who might suffer complications can get updates from AlertDC’s website or Twitter feed.

Fix-It Clinic and E-Cycling | DC Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE)

Two quickly upcoming events from DOEE for community members. Today, July 14, DC DOEE will host an e-cycle collection event from 10am – 2pm. The collection vehicle is expected to be at Anacostia Ave NE between Dix St NE and Benning Rd NE (in Ward 7, near Anacostia Park Baseball Fields). To learn more about e-cycling and what can be included in drop-offs, click here. DOEE will also co-host a Fix-It Clinic with the Mt. Pleasant Library Friends at the library (3160 16th St NW) on Saturday, July 15 from 1 – 3pm.

New Member Orientation | Prince George’s County Food Equity Council

Are you interested in getting involved with your local food system in Prince George’s County? Do you want to learn more about the Food Equity Council’s work and how to get involved? The Council’s new member orientation takes place on July 25 from 2 – 3pm. Click here to register.


Child labor, as we have been hearing, is making a comeback. This article originated in TomDispatch but leapt to Jacobin and then to Portside faster than a trending TikTok. In early June a briefer, maybe pithier piece by William Finnegan in The New Yorker (paywalled, alas) pointed out the easy pathways for unaccompanied kids awaiting asylum decisions to get scooped up by traffickers and put to work in dangerous and demeaning jobs. And all the way back in March our comrades at the Economic Policy Institute published a report (cited by Finnegan) on how states (mostly Red) around the country were making it easier for employers to put these kids to work by weakening existing child-labor prohibitions.

“The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses.” – a reminder, courtesy of a Hollywood studio executive, that class war really is class war. Meanwhile, the writer’s strike continues into its third month, the newly elected UAW president discussed the possibility of a strike ahead of negotiations with the Big Three automotive companies and the Teamsters continue to prepare for an increasingly likely nationwide strike on August 1. On Thursday, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) national board officially and unanimously issued a strike order against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), beginning at midnight Friday, July 14. This means that tens of thousands of actors will join striking union writers in the movie and TV industry in what the Washington Post calls a “historic double strike that will effectively shut down Hollywood.” An extremely hot labor summer continues…

A brief international dispatch: In the New Left Review’s Sidecar blog, Aditya Bahl writes: “despite widespread accusations of cronyism, Modi’s reputation is intact. His approval ratings are consistently north of 75%: the highest of any serving prime minister. As the veteran Indian journalist M.K. Venu writes, he is a ‘Teflon leader’ to whom nothing seems to stick. Yet, despite this immovable hegemony, Indian politics is far from static.” Meanwhile in France, Jacobin reports that uprisings related to police brutality and broader working-class frustration resulted in “3,600 arrests, including 1,100 minors. Courts are already handing out long jail sentences to supposed culprits — answering the political demand for vengeance even as the suburbs’ plight goes ignored.”

28,000 Marylanders lose Medicaid coverage: As new data reports, some 28,000 low-income Marylanders have been disenrolled from Medicaid in June alone and are losing out on federal health coverage. State health officials are looking for ways to make the administrative process for redetermination easier to ensure eligible people do not lose coverage. From Maryland Matters.

The flame of thought, the magnificence of art, the wonder of discovery, and the audacity of invention all belong to revolutionary periods when humanity, tired of the chains of its restrictions, shatters them, and stops inebriated to breathe the breeze of a vaster and freer horizon.

Virgilia D’Andrea