April 10, 2020 Weekly Update

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Next steps in the movement that has surrounded and propelled the now-suspended Bernie campaign:

…on a practical note, let me also say this: I will stay on the ballot in all remaining states and continue to gather delegates. While Vice President Biden will be the nominee, we should still work to assemble as many delegates as possible at the Democratic convention where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions.
-Sanders, Wednesday, April 8

Maryland delegates to be allocated: 79 Maryland’s primary is at this writing scheduled for June 2. The Maryland elections board sent a plan to the governor April 3 proposing every registered voter be mailed an absentee ballot with return-postage-paid envelope. MDC DSA endorsed McKayla Wilkes’ campaign continues in Maryland’s fifth district. The deadline for registering to vote is by statute 21 days before Election Day, so expanding the electorate is on the agenda during that window. VOTER REGISTRATION & ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUEST

DC delegates to be allocated: 20 DC voters can now request mail-in ballots for the (delayed to June 2, at this point) DC primary election, involving not only the presidential primary but DC Council candidates including MDC DSA endorsed Ward 4 candidate Janeese Lewis George. DC has no-excuse absentee voting, but the absentee ballot request deadline is 7 days before the election. VOTER REGISTRATION & ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUEST


Tonight, Friday, APR 10 | 7-9:30 PM
A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal—DC Virtual Launch Follow link for required pre-registration.


Grocery union wants limits on store customers to protect workers and customers. UFCW Local 400, which represents thousands of grocery store workers in the metro DC area, continued its call for grocery store workes to be designated first responders:

“These actions will not just protect our members, but also everyone in the community who continues to need access to food in a safe and healthy location…A shortage of personal protecting equipment should not be an excuse to delay designating grocery store workers as first responders now so that they can have access to District-provided testing sites, which are currently restricted to healthcare workers, first responders, and high-risk residents. Grocery workers on the frontlines of this crisis need this testing now and there is no reason to delay, the time to act is now, now now!”
-from Union City, newsletter of the Metropolitan DC Council AFL-CIO

Click here to sign the petition!

Rent Strike in Northern Virginia! Laid off airport workers in UNITE HERE Local 23 are organizing a rent strike in Southern Towers, where over 300 tenants have signed a demanding rent be canceled indefinitely until the crisis subsides. They also demand that rent be income based when they go back to work. DSA members will be doing outreach to city, county and state officials in solidarity with their demands. Please sign and share the New Virginia Majority petition to cancel rent. If you are interested in getting more involved in this struggle, sign up here.

Comrades, it’s time for some internal democracy – another annual chapter-wide election! It’s an important time when you and yours get to set the agenda for the chapter. We will be holding elections for Secretary, Treasurer, and At-Large Steering Committee Members. Nominations are now open for a two-week period – the deadline for nominations is April 15 and the form for nominations, with explainer, is available on our #2020-steering-election Slack channel. A complete timeline can be found here. Discussion or questions about this can be brought to the #2020-steering-election Slack channel, or directed to the Temporary Elections Working Group (@Zach E, @Liz, @cmdownes) or at tempelectionswg@mdcdsa.org
–Zach E, Secretary

MDC DSA’s Steering Committee endorsed this letter at its April 7 meeting demanding Mayor Bowser support excluded workers in the city not otherwise eligible for cash assistance during the coronavirus emergency. Tens of thousands of immigrant families and other workers are among them. This WaPo explainer on the omnibus Council bill explains in good detail where the legislation falls short.

The Socialist Night School’s virtual event on “Sanctions as a US Weapon of War,” presented Monday (April 6) can be viewed, along with previous 2020 Night School events, are available on our revamped webpage here.

Last week we published the April edition of the Washington Socialist, our monthly newsletter. As Coronavirus upends the fabric of our society, this edition of the Washington Socialist provides a left/socialist response to this new reality.

As we prepare our May 2020 edition, we are interested in hearing MDC DSA member’s thoughts and opinions on the Bernie Campaign. Where did it inspire you? What have we learned? Where do we go from here? If you would like to contribute your short or long-form thoughts on the campaign, please fill out our contributor’s form so we can build and publish thoughts on the electoral effort.

Circulated by The Nation’s Take Action Now newsletter, a compendium of COVID relief information for reference:


Sunday, APR 14 | 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Socialist Night School: Social Reproduction
Virtual session, Zoom Meeting

Sunday, APR 19 | 3:00 PM
April General Body Meeting: Climate Action in DC and Beyond
Virtual session, Zoom Meeting TBD

Monday, APR 20 | 5:00 to 8:00 PM
Queer Caucus Happy Hour
Adapted to a virtual panel discussion, Zoom Meeting

Thursday, APR 23 | 7:00 PM
NOVA Branch DSA Organizing Meeting
Likely virtual, Zoom Link TBD


Saturday, APR 11 | 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
CODEPINK DC Local Zoom Meeting Virtual session, Zoom Meeting
How Medicare for All can save your family money. From Our Revolution Maryland and other state chapters.

Tuesday, APR 14 | 3:00 PM
Webinar: The Elephant in the Emergency Room Virtual session, Zoom Meeting TBD

Sunday, APR 19 | 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Prince George’s County Our Revolution monthly meeting
Adapted to a virtual panel discussion, Zoom Meeting
The meeting will discuss current actions and events in the wake of Bernie’s campaign suspension. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


WG and campaign leaders: the Friday AM Update is built throughout the week in a Google Doc that can be shared with you on request, as it is with other campaign leaders. To get edit access, contact us at thesocialist@mdcdsa.org or in our #publications Slack channel.

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 on the new site dynamic. So fill out our contributor’s form and we’ll be in touch.

Because we are all Zooming now, the Metropolitan Labor Council’s newsletter Union City has passed along a primer from Wired magazine on how to trouble-shoot everything from your own device in Zoomland to human interactions in virtual meetings. It is, of course, titled “OK Zoomer”.

PUBLICATIONS SCHEDULE: Updates for April will be published Fridays April 10, 17 and 24 and the May Day issue of the Washington Socialist will be published Friday, May 1 – article deadline will be Saturday, April 25. We are happy to announce that we have redesigned our MDC DSA website. We hope all MDC DSA members feel like they have input into the design and structure of the site. We welcome all comments, questions, or observed issues with the new site from members; please send notices through the Red Desk or notify us in our #publications slack channel.


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 in the chapter structure link above. To get on Slack, use the email by which DSA knows you and request access from admin@mdcdsa.org


On Thursday morning’s New York Times online front page, it was as if Bernie Sanders had never run for the Democratic nomination. Their columnist Elizabeth Breunig, however, escaped the memory hole.…and, somewhere down in the dark backward of the digital NYT, an elegy by a Times reporter who seemed, in the beginning, the designated Bernie hit person but gradually betrayed an increasing affection for the candidate and his movement.

In Maryland Matters, coverage of MDC DSA endorsed candidate McKayla Wilkes challenge to Rep. Steny Hoyer. The article provides a great bio on McKayla and explores the conditions that have inspired her to action.

A NYT piece from a scholar-analyst – “Who goes alt-right in a lockdown…the reality is that the internet is a very dark window through which to view the world. Yet more and more people will be doing so for the next few months. The psychological impact of this on a wide scale should not be dismissed, nor should its subsequent repercussions for politics.”

From Rolling Stone and reposted in Portside, a roundup on how Republican-led states, mostly in the South and Mountain West, are preventing a fair vote and taking advantage of the pandemic to double down on voter supression tactics.

Ellen Brown of the Public Banking Institute notes how the nature of the Fed’s behavior is changing and how monetary systems could be treated as a public good: “A central bank that was run as a public utility could fund programs designed to kickstart the economy, stimulate productivity and generally serve the public.” …or maybe even fund a Green New Deal. Posted in the Popular Resistance roundup.

In The Intercept, Chip Gibbons breaks previous FBI’s investigations on non-violent Palestinian solidarity groups: “these cases demonstrate the FBI’s unwillingness to distinguish non-violent civil disobedience protesting government policy from terrorism.”

Making the rounds in our Slack channels, this piece by Kim Moody explores the relationship between global capitalist cross-border good flows and the speed with which Covid-19 contagion has spread.