August 14, 2020 Weekly Update


UP FRONT

  • New Member Orientation - this Sunday at 3 PM
  • NoVa Branch Anti-Eviction Canvassing - this Saturday at 2 PM
  • Medicare 4 All Working Group Weekly Meeting - this Sunday at 5 PM
  • #ShutDownDC protest in support of USPS - this Saturday at 8 AM

MDC DSA New Member Orientation
Get the inside info on MDC DSA’s reach and scope – and the many areas in which YOU can participate. If you’re a new member, an established member that needs a refresher, or interested in becoming a member, please join us for this overview of our chapter. You’ll learn about the structure of our Chapter, our working groups and branches, and current projects and efforts. We hope to see you there!

NoVA Anti-Eviction Canvass
The NoVa Branch tenant rights group will be canvassing this Saturday at 2 pm to alert tenants who have received eviction court summons of their rights and to provide loss-of-income affidavits that they can present in court to receive a 60-day extension of the court hearing. With the Virginia eviction moratorium being extended to only September 7th, we know the governor is only kicking the can down the road. But we will use this month to reach out to more tenants and to continue fighting for rent cancellation.

We will meet at 2 pm in front of the 7-Eleven at Southern Towers (4901 Seminary Rd.) We will provide training and walksheets. We will also have hand sanitizer, but please bring a mask and practice social distancing! Many of our locations require travel to another site, so we advise coming by car! After the canvass, we will meet back at Southern Towers for a socially distant happy hour in the park at 5 pm.

The NoVa Branch will also be hosting an online Support Planning Meeting on Sunday the 16th at 5pm. The meeting is for planning the support of the striking tenants of Southern Towers to discuss research and canvassing work.

Medicare 4 All Workgroup Weekly Meeting
Democratic Socialists are fighting to make single-payer Medicare for All healthcare a reality. Help us fight to replace our fractured and broken health system with a unified Medicare for All system. In order to get our politicians to buck their billionaire donors and side with the majority, we have to threaten them with a mass political movement. But the movement we need cannot be built overnight. That’s why we need each and every person to get involved. Winning Medicare for All will mean establishing a piece of real democratic socialism and building a broader working-class movement to take on the elite and the billionaire class. Join us this Sunday at 5 PM! Contact info at link.

#ShutDownDC protest in support of USPS - this Saturday at 8 AM
Meet at Kalorama Park in Adams Morgan, at the corner of Kalorama Rd. NW and 19th St. NW. Last Friday, Postmaster General (and Trump donor) Louis DeJoy carried out a Friday Night Massacre in which he fired or reassigned dozens of experienced USPS leaders. Meanwhile, mail continues to pile up under DeJoy’s draconian changes. And the election in which unprecedented numbers of people will vote by mail is just two-and-a-half months away. This Saturday, join #ShutDownDC in delivering democracy – and a lot of noise – right to the door of DeJoy’s swanky condo in Kalorama. If he thinks he can escape our righteous anger, he’s about to find out how wrong he is. We won’t sit by while our democracy is stolen from us.

BRIEFS

Supporting the Park Morton Equity Plan
MDC DSA’s Steering Committee voted for the chapter to sign on in support of the Park Morton Equity Plan, which has been crafted by the Park Morton Residents Council to prevent future displacement of Park Morton residents, many of whom are multi-generational Black residents, during redevelopment of the housing unit (see on map). We stand in solidarity with the residents of Park Morton and ask all our members to sign and share the petition created by Park Morton residents.
-Rachel B

Montgomery County Charter Amendment B: Bad for Families and Communities
MDC DSA comrades made over 630 calls to voters to get out the word about Montgomery County Charter Amendment B, which would primarily benefit the wealthy and corporations and force cuts to the public health department, schools and other county services. We’ll host another training and phonebanking session next Wednesday, August 19 at 6:30pm. To sign up to volunteer and get updates about this session and other future sessions, sign up here.
- Nicole Z

Forming the Red Rabbits direct action group
Direct action is essential in demonstrating our collective beliefs and demands and agitating authorities. But history has shown us that the capitalist class and government agencies regularly assault protesters, striking workers, and the left during times of dissent. So who keeps us safe? We keep us safe. Learn to create an infrastructure of safety in our actions through marshaling. The Red Rabbits Working Group is a chance to form a cadre that can assist and promote direct action and help protect each other and our comrades in various movements. Register here.

DC Elections 2020 Update
Ticked off about the Presidential Democratic ticket? Channel that anger into local electoral gambits by supporting the campaigns of MDC DSA members Janeese Lewis George and Ed Lazere!

Fundraising numbers for DC Council and State Board of Education fundraising numbers were released this week - and Ed Lazere has found himself way out in front with about 1.5x more raised than the incumbent Democrat in the at-large race!

But our work is far from finished. We are about 80 days to Election Day, and we need all the help we can get to make sure Ed secures a win in his at-large race. If you haven’t been trained in phonebank training yet, there are three opportunities to sign up for training this weekend. Already trained? Sign up for a Phonebanking here! And if you’d like to join the working group that is helping to elect Janeese and Ed, you can fill out this form to stay updated on meeting times and mobilizations.

If you’re interested in checking out a summary of fundraising data, you can do so at the D.C. Geekery website, a great website for keeping up to date on D.C. electors.

Please update your dating profile with MDC DSA! Link is HERE
So that was a lie (sorry). But please take our Member survey so we can learn about you. Deciding which workgroup to join is sort of like dating the Revolution, no? We want to learn about your interests and skills so we can help you find your dream activism match! It takes less than 3 minutes.

Supporting the Poor People Campaign’s GOTV effort
The national Poor People’s Campaign is boosting “the Big Send,” a plan to write (by hand! Sent by mail!) messages to low-probability or infrequent voters in other states urging them to vote. Here’s how the Maryland Poor People’s campaign presents it, with a nod to a local variant as well:

A national effort, The Big Send, has been launched to get out the vote in areas of states where turnout has been low. This is being done by sending letters to infrequent voters with a hand written note telling the person why you vote in every election and asking them to join you as a voter. The message is non-partisan. Research has shown that these letters can increase voter turnout by 3%. Below is a short video explaining the campaign and a link to sign up to write letters. You can also join a zoom letter writing or learn about other voting activities through Do the Most Good (MoCo). Here is the explainer video, good for sharing both in- and outside your MDC DSA/activist networks.

MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR AUGUST

Sunday, Aug 16 | 2:00 PM
MoCo DSA Branch Social Meeting
Our August branch meeting will be a little different - it will be a social meeting with breakout groups, fun questions, and more! Join us to get to know your comrades better! Email us at: MontgomeryCountyDSA@gmail.com to receive the Zoom link and password.

Sunday, Aug 16 | 3:00 PM
MDC DSA New Member Orientation
If you’re a new member, an established member that needs a refresher, or interested in becoming a member, please join us for this overview of our chapter. You’ll learn about the structure of our Chapter, our working groups and branches, and current projects and efforts. You should be able to determine which opportunities you want to explore and how to get plugged in. Register at Meetup link, above.

Sunday, Aug 16 | 2:00 PM
Socialist Feminist Reading Group (August Discussion)
The Socialist Feminist Reading Group will be discussing How We Get Free, Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. The SocFem Caucus has decided to make all SocFem events (meetings, happy hours, and now Reading Groups) womxn- and non-binary-only. If you don’t identify as womxn or non-binary, we respectfully request that you do not attend upcoming reading groups, happy hours (aka Grrrls Night), or Caucus meetings. We’re newly (re)-formed and still getting acquainted with each other and discussing Caucus priorities. Thank you for respecting this decision!

Sunday, Aug 16 | 1:00 PM
Southern Towers Tenant Support Planning Meeting
This meeting is for planning the support of the striking tenants of Southern Towers to discuss research and canvassing work. Help us fight to replace our fractured and broken health system with a unified Medicare for All system. More info and access at link.

Sunday, Aug 16 | 5:00 to 6:30 PM
Medicare 4 All Workgroup Weekly Meeting
Democratic Socialists are fighting to make single-payer Medicare for All healthcare a reality.

Monday, Aug 17 | 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Queer Socialist Happy Hour
The QSC will be having our monthly Happy Hour, for all Queer, Trans, and Nonbinary comrades, as well our allies and accomplices. Event is open to the public, DSA membership is not required. During this crisis, social connection is vital for our mental and emotional health. Please drop in, relax, chat, and (virtually) connect. Register for Zoom link at Meetup.

Monday, Aug 17 | 7:00 to 8:00 PM
DC Council Elections Workgroup
Join us to learn about our efforts to elect democratic socialists to the DC City Council, Janeese Lewis George (Ward 4), Ed Lazere (at-large) and Mysiki Valentine for the DC State Board of Education at-large. Join our zoom meeting via the link below. You may be prompted to provide your email before gaining entry.

Wednesday, Aug 19 | 7:00 PM
Prince George’s Branch (prov.) Biweekly Meeting
Join us to refine and finalize bylaws and move closer to formal branch status while we develop a program to tackle the many inequities in Prince George’s County and engage allies to make it happen inside county government and in the community. We’ve got a number of goals to accomplish and we want YOU to join us and be part of this movement. Do you live in Prince George’s and are a member or supporter of DSA? Join Us! Follow the link for virtual access. Join the agenda-building action on our #prince-georges-oc Slack channel.

Thursday, Aug 20 | 6:00 PM
Grupo de traduccion el Espanol
Únete a nosotros! Discutiremos cómo traducir nuestros documentos al español. You are invited to a Zoom meeting via the link below. You may be prompted to provide your email before joining.

Thursday, Aug 20 | 6:30 to 8:00 PM
NOVA DSA Organizing Meeting
Welcome to our monthly NOVA DSA organizing and planning meeting. Please take a minute to read our short, brief, not very long, sort-of-illustrated NOVA DSA Socialist Meeting Participation Guidelines.

Thursday, Aug 20 | 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Immigration Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System | Socialist Night School
A brief history of U.S. immigration enforcement leading up the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and ICE, examines some contemporary policies and programs intersecting immigration enforcement and the criminal justice system, and discusses some of the relevant data sources. More info and access at link.

Friday, Aug 21 | 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Red Rabbits Working Group interest meeting
Direct action is essential in demonstrating our collective beliefs and demands and agitating authorities. But history has shown us that the capitalist class and government agencies regularly assault protesters, striking workers, and the left during times of dissent. So who keeps us safe? We keep us safe. Learn to create an infrastructure of safety in our actions through marshaling. The Red Rabbits Working Group is a chance to form a cadre that can assist and promote direct action and help protect each other and our comrades in various movements.


NATIONAL DSA EVENTS

Wednesday, Aug 19 | 9:00 PM EDT
Voter Universe Training
The National Electoral Committee (NEC) of DSA would like to invite new and experienced electoral campaign volunteers to a Voter Universe training webinar put on by the NEC’s Chapter Outreach and Training subcommittee. With Covid keeping us from running robust ground campaigns, reaching the electorate virtually will be a key skill for chapters to master.

Thursday, Aug 20 | 7:30 PM EDT
Building an Inclusive Movement for Economic Justice with Rev. Andrew Wilkes and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
Join Rev. Andrew Wilkes and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, National Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, in conversation about the campaign, its faith-rooted vision, and how the movement presents a concrete way to shift our political economy, uproot white supremacy, and expand the decision-making power of workers in a way that emerges from religion.


INFO ACCESS

INFO about YOU – for all of us. We’re requesting members take our Member Skills and Resources Survey as well as our Interests and Activism Survey. As we continue to fine-tune our organization, we are trying to make sure we – that’s you – have a proper grasp of our membership’s skills and interests so we know what we are capable of!

MDC DSA’s reach and scope can be amazing when you step back and see the landscape we cover in the DMV. Get the picture with this annotated list of our activities - campaigns, working groups, caucuses and how our local chapter does organizing in a democratic socialist way. It’s a great resource for new members or existing members wondering what to do with quarantine. Check out our chapter structure here. Our branches in Montgomery County, Maryland and Northern VA as part of our coverage.

Members of campaigns are of course contacting us at #publications regularly to keep individual entries current and informative (you know who you are).

Metro DC DSA publications – one of those working groups – are intended to keep a socialist perspective and lens on events and actions both for our members and our allies, and we reach over 5,000 readers in the DMV. August updates will be sent Fridays, August 14, 21 and 28 and because Labor Day 2020 is celebrated Monday Sept. 7, this year’s Labor Day issue of the Washington Socialist will be published Friday, Sept 4…with an article deadline of Saturday, August 29.

Workers and working families are the ground from which we all struggle to overcome capitalism. So start thinking about how you will mark Labor Day with the appearance of your article in the Labor Day/September newsletter of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America. Discuss what you think you might write about in our #publications Slack channel – a great place to exchange ideas and develop our perspective on organizing, the history of radical activism, and how socialist ideas help us shape effective action. Or check in at thesocialist@mdcdsa.org and ask what’s needed. We welcome all comments, questions, or observed issues with the new site; please send notices through the Red Desk or chat us up in that #publications Slack channel.


EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV

TODAY, Friday Aug 14 | 1:00 to 2:00 PM
The Way Out Through State and Local Aid (Economic Policy Institute)
A panel of economists including Jason Furman, Mark Zandi and Glenn Hubbard discuss how aid to states and localities can put the economy on a footing for recovery.

Saturday, Aug 15 | 8:00 AM
#ShutDownDC Delivers Democracy to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy
Meet at Kalorama Park in Adams Morgan, at the corner of Kalorama Rd. NW and 19th St. NW
On Friday, Postmaster General (and Trump donor) Louis DeJoy carried out a “Friday Night Massacre” in which he fired or reassigned dozens of experienced USPS leaders. Meanwhile, mail continues to pile up under DeJoy’s draconian changes. And the election in which unprecedented numbers of people will vote by mail is just two-and-a-half months away. This Saturday, join #ShutDownDC in delivering democracy – and a lot of noise – right to the door of DeJoy’s swanky condo in Kalorama. If he thinks he can escape our righteous anger, he’s about to find out how wrong he is. We won’t sit by while our democracy is stolen from us.

Monday, Aug 17 | 7:00 PM
Maryland Poor People’s Campaign Meeting
Please come continue our discussion on voting, let us know how you are making out with your voting actions (homework & extra credit) and catch up on the current voting process including issues in MD and have Q&A with Guest Speaker: Dr. Gilberto Zelaya, Community Empowerment/Public Information Officer from MC Board of Elections and check out our PPC Report - Unleashing the Power of Poor and Low-Income Americans: Changing the Political Landscape.

Wednesday, Aug 19 | 11:30 AM to 12:45 PM
The Right to Narrate: No Justice Without Palestinian Voices
Join us for a policy roundtable by Palestinian grassroots organizers and advocates about what it means for Palestinians to claim our right to narrate, to tell our stories, and to speak back with clear demands for an end to US complicity in Palestinian oppression.

Friday, Aug 21 | 4:00 PM
Webinar: An Introduction to Cooperative Conversations
Presented by Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy.

Sunday, Aug 23 | 7:00 PM
Our Revolution Montgomery meeting

Wednesday, Aug 26 | 7:00 to 8:30 PM
Maryland Clean Energy Town Hall
Discuss clean energy policy in Maryland and Joe Biden’s climate plan. with special guest MD Sen. Chris Van Hollen*, Maryland – Speakers include: MD Del. Brooke Lierman, Adam Ortiz, Johanna Neumann, ( 100% Renewable Campaign) Mike Tidwell, CCAN; Jahi Wise (Green Capital); Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, (350.org).


IN THE AUGUST ISSUE OF THE WASHINGTON SOCIALIST…

In our newest edition of the Washington Socialist


GOOD READS

Biden’s veep pick took over the news in midweek, and who else to consult for the political nuts and bolts of the matter than our comrade Harold Meyerson in the Prospect.

Isabel Wilkerson, in an outtake from her new book, describes a remarkable moment for MLK Jr. during his long-anticipated trip to India. Is the apparently fluid concept of “caste” the bridge – or causeway – between the fraught concepts of race and class in our political terrain?

Our comrade Leo Gertner, formerly of our MDC DSA local, has this great piece in the latest American Prospect: attorney culture is being deformed by business influence, alas, as he indicates in Prospect.

Interested in getting oriented on the state of the 2020 election in DC? DC Geekery has an amazing (visual) data display across a variety of fields and metrics.

Our comrade Austin K recs this one, co-authored by our fave Fran Piven in The Intercept: “Trump has a lot of tools at his disposal to steal the election if he loses, many of which he’s already putting into motion.”

Local members were interviewed for this feature in The Forge, where they were asked to recount their perspective on building a Socialist DC.

Lastly, a ‘good watch:’ “My entire body is on fire right now,” says one protester in an on the ground interview from last night. A confrontation between DCPD and a group of protestors broke out on U Street last night. Reporting is still coming in, but this interview reminds us that protests continue throughout the DMV.


Ages have come and gone, kingdoms and powers and dynasties have risen and fallen, old glories and ancient wisdoms have been turned into dust, heroes and sages have been forgotten and many a mighty and fearsome god has been hurled into the lightless chasms of oblivion.

But ye, Plebs, Populace, People, Rabble, Mob, Proletariat, live and abide forever.
Arturo Giovannitti