Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America is a chapter of the national Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the United States. Since our organization’s We Need Bernie campaign, an initiative to support Bernie Sanders’ bid for the presidency, we have grown into a potent political force both nationally and locally in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area.
As a local chapter and a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, we support efforts in the DC area to advance workers’ rights, build strong unions, oppose gentrification, promote racial justice, support reproductive rights, and oppose dangerous fascist ideologies. Check out our Events Calendar to find upcoming ways to get involved, learn more about the work we do, and join DSA to help build a better future for us all.
A Brief History of the DSA
Democratic Socialists of America has its roots in the New Left movement of the 1960s. It arose from the Socialist Party of America and the New American Movement, under the leadership of Left activist Michael Harrington, who formed the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC). The Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee emerged from the Socialist Party in the 1970s, from a left riven by the Vietnam War. Like many left organizations, we proved we could be against the war, and US military adventurism, while standing up against the bogus charge of pro-Communism.
Michael Harrington, author of The Other America, led DSOC as it joined with other left organizations to become DSA in 1980. Michael Harrington and socialist feminist author Barbara Ehrenreich served as DSA’s first co-chairs.
Harrington’s enthusiasm and measured analysis still informs our politics today. DSA’s membership is currently the largest in our history, with approximately 25,000 national members and growing every day. While we continue to adhere to the vision presented by Harrington, our organization is ever-evolving to confront the challenges presented by capitalism, fascism, and systemic inequality.
A comprehensive account of our organization’s history is available the national DSA website.
We advocate for democratic socialism, a radical restructuring of our economic and political systems to value people over profits. Rather than our current economy, which is controlled by the wealthy few for their own benefit, we envision an economy that is democratically controlled by all Americans. By working toward progressive change that empowers workers, people of color, women, the LGBTQ community and other marginalized Americans, we believe that we can create a free, democratic, humane society.