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UP FRONT

MARCH 22 GBM WILL BE REMOTE -- Health security message from MDC DSA
Steering Committee

The Steering Committee of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America takes the safety, health, and well-being of our members and larger community very seriously. We have decided that the March 22, 2020 General Body Meeting will be held virtually. We will additionally be working with working group and campaign leaders to make the chapter Zoom account available to those working groups that wish to hold meetings remotely so that they can take similar precautions.

At this point the situation is rapidly changing, but the DC City Government has declared both a state of emergency and a public health emergency. As part of that emergency, public health officials have advised all large public gatherings be canceled. While this technically does not apply to most MDC DSA events, as “large public gathering” is defined as greater than 1,000 people, we are out of abundance of caution recommending against in-person meetings, when possible, at this time. Given the importance of our organizing work, we will be making tools available to make sure organizing can occur remotely.

We are closely monitoring the situation with the spread of coronavirus and will continue to act. We will be consulting with the latest guidance from public health authorities and the CDC guidelines for community and faith organizations.

The Steering Committee also asks that all comrades who feel ill to take care of themselves by staying at home and resting. If possible, they should feel free to participate remotely in organizing, but for their own safety--and the safety of their comrades--should not attend in-person events. We encourage all members to wash their hands frequently and follow all CDC advice.

Finally, as socialists we must note two things. First, some on the right, including the occupant of the Oval Office, have attempted to use the coronavirus to spread xenophobia and racism. We reject xenophobia and racism and stand in solidarity with those communities being demonized, maligned, or scapegoated. Second, the potentially devastating impact of the coronavirus has been exacerbated by the United States’ for-profit healthcare system. Healthcare is a human right. Public health services are a public good. Many working class people lack access not only to healthcare, but paid sick leave. The decision to prioritize the profit and greed of a few over the needs of the many endangers everyone. Our fight for a socialist future is all the more urgent.

-- MDC DSA Steering Committee




THE WEEKEND

Events currently scheduled: Sunday MAR 15 | 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Debate Watch Party -- also on FB Event Page; follow link for details or changes

NOTE that the DSA 4 Bernie canvass Saturday, March 14 is CANCELED -- more below in MDC DSA calendar.



BRIEFS

AS THE DMV PREPARES (SORT OF) FOR COVID-19...

Our comrades at DC Jobs with Justice want to remind you that as a worker in DC you are entitled to paid sick leave. Don’t let any boss -- yours or those of others -- get away with claiming otherwise:

In the face of an emerging public health crisis it is important to remember your rights as a worker. EVERY worker in DC (full-time and part-time) has a right to paid sick days. If you work in DC and have accrued paid sick leave your boss can NOT:

❌ Require that you work

❌ Require you to take unpaid leave

❌ Require that you find someone to cover your shift

❌ Require documentation for paid sick leave of less than 2 consecutive days

❌ Retaliate against you for calling in sick

Don't let your boss cheat you out of your rights! Email nikko@dcjwj.org if you or someone you know has been denied paid sick days!

More (DC-specific) info here and here.

Here’s a blog post discussing Maryland’s possible approaches: https://www.progressivemaryland.org/covid_19_maryland_has_a_secret_weapon_paid_sick_leave

And in GOOD READS below, check out Farhad Manjoo’s biting NYT opinion piece, “Everyone’s a socialist in a pandemic.”


MDC DSA members are cautioned to follow links to public events in our calendars shortly before attending to be sure they have not been changed or canceled as a result of health concerns.



MDC DSA 4 BERNIE UPDATE<p>
</p>

<<MAKE CALLS FOR BERNIE!!>> https://berniesanders.com/call/ The Revolution Never Dies!

Saturday, March 14th 12:30 PM: MDC DSA 4 Bernie Canvass – Takoma, Maryland —-

CANCELED— in an abundance of caution with regards to COVID-19, we will not hold a canvass this week. But we encourage folks to hop on the Bernie dialer (linked above!) to make calls!

Sunday, MAR 15th | 7:30 PM
MDC DSA 4 Bernie Watch Party
Odalis Restaurant & Bar, 8215 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
The debate will be shown both in English and dubbed in Spanish via Univision. Full event details are posted on Meetup and Facebook. All are welcome!
—Status: In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we will still hold the watch party to cheer Bernie on in the next debate, but will be taking safety precautions at the event. We encourage Slack live chatting for those who are unable to attend! If anything changes before Sunday, we will be sure to update the event pages, so please check before heading out!

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Saturday, March 7th: Working Group Meeting
Members of the Bernie working group held a meeting to coordinate our Maryland canvassing strategy and plan-out future activities. Keep an eye on these weekly emails and the Meetup and Facebook event pages to stay up-to-date and learn the status of scheduled events.

Tuesday, March 10th: MDC DSA 4 Bernie Results Watch
Members gathered on Tuesday night at the one and only Penn Social and watched the primary results come in. While the outcome was not what we expected, we are not discouraged. We will continue to fight to the very end. The movement lives on when we persevere!

Wednesday, March 11th: MDC DSA 4 Bernie “Battleship Potemkin” Film Screening
We packed the upper floor of sPACYcLOUd Lounge for a viewing of the legendary Sergei Eisenstein film “Battleship Potemkin” (1925). DSA member Greg Afinogenov, an assistant professor at Georgetown University who teaches Russian history, helped kick-off the event by discussing the historical context behind the film. Varun Giridhar, also a DSA member, led a discussion after the film on its artistic and technical merits in the cinematic world. Thank you to everyone who came out and look out for more film screenings in the future!

FUNDRAISING

We are currently fundraising to purchase Maryland literature for our canvassing efforts! We also want to buy Spanish literature so that no potential voters are left out of the conversation. Please consider donating here: bit.ly/dcdsa4bernie. Your support is appreciated and will help us continue to spread our message and build our movement!



MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR MARCH/APRIL

Monday, MAR 16 | 5:30 to 10:30 PM
Rent Control Fundraiser
2309 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
The Rent Control Working Group is hosting a fundraiser to support a full-time organizer for the Reclaim Rent Control campaign. Come out to learn more about the campaign, find out ways to get involved, and contribute to the fight against displacement and landlord greed. Suggested donation for the event is $10. If you can't make it out in person, you can donate online at https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/reclaim-rent-control/

Tuesday MAR 17 | 7:00 PM
Queer Socialists Happy Hour
Red Bear Brewing Co, 209 M St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Event is open to the public, DSA membership is not required. Take a breather for a few hours of smashing the cis-hetero patriarchy and enjoy a comradely social atmosphere. Follow link for details.

Tuesday MAR 17 | 7:00 PM
Janeese 4 Ward 4 Working Group
Petworth Neighborhood Library, 4200 Kansas Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011
MDC DSA has endorsed Janeese Lewis George for the Ward 4 D.C. Council race, and we’re canvassing every single weekend from now through the primary on June 2. At this working group meeting, we’ll go over the state of the race; our canvassing efforts so far; go over different roles and ways to get plugged in… Follow link for details.

Thursday MAR 19 | 6:30 PM
March Disability Justice Working Group Meeting
The Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
We will be discussing upcoming events and campaigns. Follow link for details.

Saturday MAR 21 | 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
NoVA DSA Migrant Justice Campaign
Central Library 1015 N Quincy St · Arlington, VA
We will be focusing on the multiple detention centers in Virginia, the research and outreach we need, and short- and long-term actions. (Remote/virtual options TBD. Please follow the #nova-migrantjustice Slack

Sunday MAR 22 | 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Metro DC DSA Monthly General Body Meeting
Friends Meeting of Washington, 2111 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
The monthly meeting of the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America! Agenda to be distributed one week before the meeting.

Sunday MAR 22 | 1:30 PM
Climate Strike Training with XR and Metro DC DSA
Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Neighborhood Library, 1630 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Spring is here and it is time to act! Join Metro DC DSA and Extinction Rebellion to learn about the climate crisis followed by a direct action training. All are welcome! Follow link for details.

Monday MAR 23 | 6:30 PM
What is Socialism?: Socialist Night School
Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library, 3160 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20010
For our first session of the new semester of Socialist Night School, we’ll tackle the question of socialism. What is capitalism? What is socialism? How does what DSA does help us get there? How can you get involved (or more involved) in DSA? Geared for new members and interested non-members. Follow link for details.

Tuesday MAR 24 | 7:00 PM
Steering Committee Meeting
Remote only
This meeting is remote-only; members can participate via Zoom. Follow link for details.

Wednesday MAR 25 | 7:00 PM
NOVA Branch DSA 🌹 Organizing Meeting
Aurora Hills Branch Library, 735 18th St S, Arlington, VA 22202
We will be welcoming new members and continue discussing planning for our current actions and campaigns including support for DSA endorsed candidates (including Bernie Sanders). Follow link for details.

Friday MAR 27 | 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
MoCo DSA Happy Hour & Bowling at the Eleanor
The Elanor, 8727 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Join MoCo DSA for a social gathering and maybe a game or two of duckpin bowling at DTSS's newest spot, The Eleanor!

Tuesday MAR 31 | 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
How to Talk Politics Better: Deep Canvassing Workshop
Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016
Want to learn how to change your family members, friends, and neighbors' political opinions? Then join a group of experienced DSA canvassers for our Deep Canvassing Workshop. Deep canvassing has been proven to be the most effective and persuasive method of altering opinions and building community. Follow link for details.

Sunday APR 5 | 2:00 PM
MoCo DSA 🌹General Branch Meeting
Silver Spring Library, 900 Wayne Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Please join us for our April branch meeting at the Silver Spring library! See you then!

Friday APR 10 | 7:00 PM
A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal – DC Book Launch
The Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
Thea Riofrancos and Daniel Aldana Cohen in conversation on their new book, A Planet to Win: Why We need a Green New Deal. What could a radical Green New Deal look like, and how can we connect the politics of a Green New Deal with the fight for economic and racial justice? Follow link for details.




INFO ACCESS

Publication Schedule: Since we published the March issue of the Washington Socialist, we have published two articles, one on the deep radical roots of International Women’s Day and the second on the recent Bernie Sanders appearance in Northern Virginia. Though they were published early because of their timeliness, both will be in the table of contents for our April issue of the Washington Socialist, as well.

Meanwhile, two Friday Updates remain for March — March 20 and 27. The above-mentioned April issue of the Washington Socialist monthly newsletter will be emailed Friday, April 3. Article deadline for that issue is Saturday, March 28. Lots is happening on every front in our lives, from very mass to very individual. How can you not write? (see image of pointing finger).

Like all our working groups, the Pubs WG needs pitch-in from members: writing on subjects close to our socialist hearts (including what your WG/caucus/campaign has been doing or plans to do); editing, design, creating ‘zines and one-off flyers for our work, and doing website work to keep our MDC DSA profile dynamic. So fill out our contributor’s form and we’ll be in touch. We need your help to spread socialist ideas and news about the chapter’s work. We have scheduled a work session to get experience with our two new platforms – a new website and new chapterwide email launcher – Saturday, March 14. For details see our #publications Slack channel.


FAQ

>How many newsletters, updates and articles have we published? Articles on what topics?Check our Index here.

>What does the MDC DSA local chapter do, week in and week out?
See our working groups, caucuses and campaigns in the DMV here.

> What can I find out from MDC DSA Slack and how do I join?
Many of our campaigns, working groups and caucuses keep the conversation going between meetings on our MDC DSA Slack platform. If you are a DSA member in good standing and aren’t on our Slack you may not be getting the full picture about the rich array of activities suggested above in the chapter structure link. To get on Slack, use the email by which DSA knows you and request access from admin@mdcdsa.org



MDC DSA members are cautioned to follow links to public events in our calendars shortly before attending to be sure they have not been changed or canceled as a result of health concerns.



EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV

Saturday MAR 14 | 2:00 to 5:00 PM
ONE DC Annual Membership Meeting
POSTPONED indefinitely “Due to concerns about the coronavirus/COVID-19”

Tuesday, March 17 | 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Bread and Roses: “We Were There”
Busboys and Poets, 235 Carroll St NW, Washington, DC 20012
In celebration of Women’s History Month, local labor activists will bring the history of the struggles of women workers to life featuring members of the DC Labor Chorus. Part of the DC LaborFest’s ongoing monthly Bread & Roses series. Free to attend, but RSVP here.

Thursday MAR 19 | 8 AM POSTPONED follow this link for details
March on Annapolis for Jobs and Justice
House office building, 6 Bladen St.

Monday, MAR 30 | 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Monthly Restaurant Worker Meet-Up
Second Floor, 1100 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009
Hosted by Restaurant Opportunities Center of Washington DC. A space for restaurant workers to come together over a warm meal, so that we can share stories & grievances, build solidarity and build our power so we can shift the industry into one where all workers can thrive. Questions, info: Sophia.m@rocunited.org.

Wednesday, APR 1| 5:00 to 6:30 PM
Sheriffs, White Supremacy & Organizing for Collective Liberation
Hosted by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
Conversation about the role of sheriffs in upholding white supremacy and the strategic need to run local campaigns that can hold them accountable, or kick them out of office in our work for collective liberation.

Tuesday APR 14 | 7:00 to 9:00 PM
Settler Colonialism/Ableism & Disability Justice/ Decolonization
Georgetown University, 3700 O St NW, Washington, DC 20057
Hosted by Georgetown University’s Disability Studies Program event series. This will be a workshop with and discussion facilitated by Jen Deerinwater, Najma Johnson, Dustin P. Gibson, and Azza A. Altiraifi.  This event is part of Georgetown University’s Disability Studies Program event series.

Wednesday APR 22 MAY 1
Earth Day to May Day #ShutDownDC
Hosted by Shut Down DC-Climate Strike Washington, DC and 5 others.
Youth Leading on Climate Take aim at the interlocking systems that are creating the crises our communities are suffering from and build a collaborative framework for a healthier, more just and more sustainable world. Throughout the week of April 27th we’ll shut down business as usual with disruptive actions each day, culminating in a mass mobilization that brings the nation’s capital to a halt on May 1.

Friday MAY 15 | 6:00 PM  
NoVA Tribute to Labor Dinner
Sheraton Tysons, 8661 Leesburg Pike, Tysons 22182
Awards and tributes; Music by the Dave Marsh band. Follow link for details and RSVP



GOOD READS

An interview with DSA-endorsed and -supported McKayla Wilkes posted on Jacobin Magazine. Great insight into our campaign’s operations, McKayla’s inspiration in getting involved in politics, and where we could direct more effort to help build out our grassroots movement.
https://jacobinmag.com/2020/03/mckayla-wilkes-maryland-fifth-congressional-district-incarceration-democratic-socialism

A list of events cancelled across DC.
https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/coronavirus/article/21121521/whats-been-canceled-in-dc-an-updated-list

Warren's campaign began with great potential to pull the Democratic Party left; but the potential of her candidacy became failed by progressive groups uninterested in leading a purge of the nefarious corporate interests embedded in segments of the Democratic party.
https://prospect.org/politics/they-disappeared-the-fighter-elizabeth-warren-campaign/#.XmfMIyFUOSI.twitter

Review of DC’s security camera subsidy - specifically its embrace in gentrifying neighborhoods and lack of appeal in areas east of the river.
https://wamu.org/story/20/03/10/gentrifying-areas-embrace-d-c-s-free-home-security-camera-program-other-neighborhoods-dont-participate/

An historian of the 19th-century Gilded Age argues that Bernie Sanders’s socialism is as grounded in moral stands as in ideology: “Mr. Sanders fits into a strain of American socialism that has largely eschewed ideology, made few references to Karl Marx, and been more likely to talk about fairness and values than about economic theory.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/opinion/bernie-sanders-socialism.html/


NYT opinion columnist Farhad Manjoo: “Everyone’s a socialist in a pandemic” – at least while their anxiety lasts – but “Much of the danger we face now grows out of America’s tattered social safety net — the biting cost and outright lack of health care and child care and elder care, the corporate war on paid leave, and the plagues of homelessness and hunger. As the virus gains a foothold on our shores, many Americans are only now waking up to the ways these flaws in the safety net cascade into one another.” – the really socialist apercu. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/11/opinion/coronavirus-socialism.html/ <p> </p>


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