September 11, 2020 Weekly Update
- MDC DSA General Body Meeting – this Sunday, 3:00 PM
- Carrying on the local effort to Defund MPD
- DC Council Elections – making sure socialism wins in DC
The September general body meeting is a retrospective of MDC DSA’s role in this summer’s series of actions. We’ll hear briefly from chapter members who have been involved in past actions, including Occupy, J20, the Venezuelan embassy action, and the recent Black Lives Matter protests. But the bulk of the GBM will be hearing from you! The format will be open discussion of DSA’s involvement, recounting what we did well, how we could improve, and what our role(s) ought to be moving forward. We are also piloting “Question Time” — 10 or so minutes at the end of the meeting for members to ask any questions some might have, answered by our Steering members. The steering-approved budget will also be revealed, as will an update from the ecosocialist caucus on Pepco’s plan to raise electricity bills.
Carrying on the campaign to Defund MPD
The effort to Defund MPD has been continuing across the city, and members of MDC DSA’s Defund working group have been helping organize members to action. DSA members are invited to join the Defund MPD Actions Interest Group here! The Actions Interest Group was created for those who want to attend actions related to policing and racial justice and meet up with other DSA members at these actions. This interest group plans to coordinate action attendance for DSA members and provide ongoing communication on upcoming actions and Defund MPD Coalition events. Those interested in being part of this group can sign up and indicate their level of interest at this link. After signing up, you will receive communication about upcoming actions and the opportunity to coordinate meet-ups with other DSA members at actions. For more information, please sign up here or contact Taylor Woods at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Separately, if you are interested in joining the working group to contribute to the local Defund effort in other ways, you can fill out this onboarding form. And if you missed it last week, check out our guide on how to talk to the people you know about abolition.
DC Council Elections – Call for Support
Socialism is on the ballot in DC. The At-Large council race has attracted a large number of candidates – over 20 – and we want to make sure that MDC DSA member Ed Lazere comes out ahead. MDC DSA has had over 3,000 conversations with potential voters – and we want to make sure we solidify this election! Here’s how you can get involved:
- New to phonebanking? Click here to sign up for a training, and click here to be set up on CallHub Account.
- Returning phonebanker? Click here to sign up for a phonebanking shift, and click here to start calling!
As always, please join our #electoral channel on our chapter’s Slack if you would like to get involved.
New website for the Washington Socialist
Last week, we unveiled the Labor Day edition of the Washington Socialist. We are really excited to announce the completion of the new website. This new site uses a content management system that will make it easier to manage, publish, edit and design content published by the monthly newsletter.
Interested in learning how to get involved with management of the Washington Socialist? Consider joining our publications team meeting next Saturday at 12:00 PM. We’ll discuss the new framework employed here, as well as the broader work engaged by the publications team.
Maryland State Delegate and MDC DSA Member Vaughn Stewart to Urge Montgomery County to Vote Against Ballot Question B
MoCo DSA comrades and allies have made over 3,000 calls urging Montgomery County to vote against Robin Fcker’s ballot question B. We’ve mostly found that voters are happy to vote against ballot question B, especially after we mention Robin Fcker and cuts to education and public health and explain that the initiative mostly benefits the county’s wealthiest. However, it’s important to reach as many voters as possible because F*cker’s ballot measures often pass in Montgomery County when there’s no organized campaign against them. Join us this coming Wednesday, Sept 16 at 6:30pm for a phonebanking session with special guest Maryland State Delegate and MDC DSA member Vaughn Stewart. We’ll chat about austerity with Vaughn and make calls to district 19 voters. Register here!
Soc-Fem Caucus Update
The Soc-Fem Caucus has delegated roles to different members, and set a rotating schedule for meetings (2nd Tuesday of every month), reading group discussion (4th Sunday of every month), and the grrrls* night happy hour (4th Thursday of every month). Please follow our twitter account @MDCDSA_SocFem and show us some love! REMINDER, the soc-fem caucus, is currently a space for marginalized genders only.
Stopping the Mountain Valley Pipeline
From Green New Deal Virginia: the FERC is taking public comments for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. VA Pipeline Resisters sent out a guide on how to submit a comment and useful talking points here. They’re taking comments until Sept. 11th — one pipeline down (ACP) and one to go!
Kevin Zeese — PRESENTE!
From the Executive Committee of the US Peace Council: “Kevin Zeese — PRESENTE! Sept 6 we lost one our most beloved and treasured comrades.” Zeese, along with his life partner Dr. Margaret Flowers, was one of four activists who refused to turn over the Venezuelan Embassy in DC to the representatives of Juan Guaido. He was also a longtime Green Party activist, Baltimore-based, candidate for Senate in Maryland and was at the time of his death the press secretary for the Howie Hawkins/ Angela Walker Green Party presidential campaign, according to Hawkins. Flowers, an M.D. who is a constant campaigner for Medicare for All, said Zeese died in his sleep of “a possible heart attack.” He was 64 years old.
Update from Our Revolution
Here is Our Revolution Maryland’s newsletter for September. Our comrade Hal Ginsberg reports it includes news of their August 29th Statewide Meeting on the 2020 General Election plus rallies in support of the USPS and postal workers around the region, ongoing phonebanking work and chapter news and events.
ROC Rallies for Service Workers
On Labor Day, the Restaurant Opportunities Center – DC rallied at Malcolm X Park to highlight the experiences of service workers during the pandemic. The event was proudly supported not only by MDC, but a large array of local organizations committed to standing up for service and restaurant workers during the pandemic era. You can read coverage of the event as published in WTOP on Monday. You can also follow ROC on Twitter and Facebook.
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR SEPTEMBER
Saturday, Sep 13 | 2:00 PM
MoCo DSA September Branch Meeting
MoCo DSA’s September Branch Meeting has been changed to Sunday the 13th, at 1 pm. Please join us to learn about keeping yourself safe during protests, a tax scam for the rich that will be on the November ballot, and more. Email us at MontgomeryCountyDSA@gmail.com for the Zoom link or with any questions!
Sunday, Sep 13 | 3:00 to 5:00 PM
Metro DC DSA General Body Meeting
Our general body meetings convene all chapter members once monthly. Workgroups, caucuses, committees, and leadership provide key updates on campaigns and other activities. Members may also propose and vote on business.
Sunday, Sep 13 | 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.
Monday, Sep 14 | 7:00 PM
DC Council Elections Working Group Meeting (Biweekly)
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.
Monday, Sep 14 | 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Queer Caucus 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.
Wednesday, Sep 16 | 7:00 PM
Prince George’s County DSA Branch (prov.) Biweekly Meeting
Join our growing organizing group as we polish our bylaws and aim to take the (prov.) off our name. We’ll sharpen our developing program combining Maryland state issues and the pressing needs for change in our own county — making socialism work for all.
Wednesday, Sep 16 | 6:30 PM
Phone Banking — Vote NO on Question B
Join MDC DSA comrades and the Montgomery County branch to make calls urging voters to vote NO on question B, a Prop 13-type move to cut taxes, favor the rich and reduce revenue for public services.
Saturday, Sep 19 | 12:00 PM
Publications Team Meeting
A meeting of the Publication Team! We’ll go over the newsletter, updates on the Washington Socialists, website plans, and more! Agenda to follow.
Saturday, Sep 19 | 2:00 to 5:00 PM
NoVa Anti-Eviction Canvass
The NoVa Branch Tenant Organizing Working Group will be canvassing to provide support to tenants facing evictions and discussing the possibilities of organizing against their landlord.
Sunday, Sep 20 | 3:00 PM
MDC DSA New Member Orientation
Join us for this overview of our chapter. You’ll learn about our structure, 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.
Sunday, Sep 20 | 6:00 PM
MDC DSA Defund MPD Working Group
Monthly meeting, 3rd Sunday of each month.
Wednesday, Sep 23 | 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Phonebank: NO on Question B Republican Robin Ficker put question B on our ballots in Montgomery County. It is an austerity plan designed to protect the rich and force cuts in education, transit, parks, and even our health department during a pandemic. Join MDC DSA comrades and the Montgomery County branch to make calls urging voters to vote no on question B.
Thursday, Sep 24 | 7:00 PM
Grrrlz Night Out Happy Hour
A happy hour space for women, trans comrades of all genders, enbys, and femmes to come together. With the pandemic, having a space to talk about socialism and be social is a great way to decompress from the oppressions we face in our patriarchal and capitalistic society. The event is open to all Grrrls*– DSA membership is not required.
Note: recurring weekly meetings for these campaigns: Medicare for All (Sundays); Phone Banking: NO on Question B (Wednesdays); and Southern Towers Tenant Support Planning (Sundays) — continue through September and beyond. Find them on our Meetup page.
NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS
Check out the newest edition National DSA’s seasonable publication, Democratic Left!
Sunday, Sep 13 | 3:00 PM EDT
Running a Defund the Police Campaign
Join DSA’s National Electoral Committee for a conversation with chapters about how to plan and run a Defund the Police Campaign. Chapters from around the country will share their challenges and successes in pressuring politicians to cut police budgets.
Monday, Sep 14 | 8:00 PM EDT
Black Health + Black Liberation: Why do we have racial health disparities?
Uprisings across the country are bringing attention to the injustices of police brutality and systemic racism. But how do movements like Medicare for All meet this moment, especially in the time of COVID-19? In this series, we’ll speak to activists and organizers fighting at the intersection of healthcare and Black liberation.
Monday, Sep 21 | 9:00 PM EDT
Health Workers Organize for Power!
DSA’s Health Worker Collective (HWC) is partnering with the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC) on industry-focused trainings to empower and educate health workers. This national call will include a panel of worker leaders who will share experiences organizing in the workplace around demands related to the Covid pandemic.
A great new resource compiled by our MDC DSA Defund folks: “Relational Organizing for Abolition: A guide for talking to the people you know about police abolition” — lots of external resources and a walk-through guide to what can often be a difficult conversation.
Publications schedule: MDC DSA Weekly Updates are scheduled for Fridays, September 18 and 25, and the October issue of the Washington Socialist is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2 with an article deadline of Saturday, Sept 26.
Are you an MDC DSA member who wonders how to get on our chapter Slack? Just email email@example.com and identify yourself as a member. Use the email address by which national DSA knows you. If you are a new member, forward the email that national DSA sent you acknowledging your status. Our Slack platform, with numerous channels for all our caucuses, branches, campaigns and working groups, is a great place to get connected with the kind of socialist work YOU want to do in DSA. You might even find a job opportunity on #rosaslist.
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV
Saturday, Sep 12 | 7:00 PM
They/Them Collective FTP March
Weekly march for justice in DC. Free the people, fight the power, fuck the police.
Tuesday, Sep 15 | 5:00 to 7:30 PM
NO POLICE IN PRINCE GEORGE’S SCHOOLS – RALLY
At 5200 Silver Hill Rd, District Heights, MD 20747-2045
DEMAND that police are removed from PGCPS, and more money is invested in school counselors and mental health specialists. The school board will be voting on this issue on Sep 17th — LET THE SCHOOL BOARD KNOW WE WANT COUNSELORS NOT COPS!! Hosted by PG Change Makers Coalition.
Wednesday, Sep 16 | 7:30 PM
Progressive Cheverly Prince George’s County School Board Candidates Forum
Two nonpartisan candidates running for one seat, Shayla Adams-Stafford and Bryan Swann (incumbent) will attend our forum.
Wednesday, Sep 16 | 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Rally for Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis
Demand legislators meet to support Maryland families racked by job loss, rent demands and illegal evictions — instead of sitting on the sidelines. Show them how groups can convene safely — which we will do. Co-sponsors include Progressive Maryland.
Friday, Sep 25 | 7:30 PM
Progressive Cheverly Legislative Forum with Maryland District 47 Representatives
Senator Malcolm Augustine and Delegates Diana Fennell, Julian Ivey are confirmed and Del. Wanika Fisher (invited) — virtual event with Q&A in chat.
Monday, Sep 26 | 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Worker Coops and the Movement for Socialism
Presented by The Claudia Jones School for Political Education, cosponsored by ONE DC.
Yanis Varoufakis, in a new book, joins those who have imagined a socialist future. This one includes a post-pandemic perspective. He was, you’ll remember, the finance minister of the radical Syriza party in Greece, fighting the EU’s neocons for a break for his debt-burdened nation. And losing. Here’s his self-blurb for Another Now in The Guardian.
Most of us are familiar with the external factors that make COVID-19 infection and mortality rates so much higher for black and hispanic workers — including the coerced return to the job for “essential” workers. Patricia J. Williams in The Nation explores the strikingly medieval practices and myths about racial “differences” that persist even within health care workers from the top down, including today’s medical students. The craft and acuity of one of this era’s premier essayists is right here.
“‘From each according to ability; to each according to need’ – tracing the biblical roots of socialism’s enduring slogan”…none of us had to be reminded of this, right?
Labor reporter Steven Greenhouse, whose Beaten Down, Worked Up (2019) is a solid recent history of US labor’s rise and decline pre-pandemic, focuses in a Labor Day op-ed on the GOP’s failure to retain some favor with unions
We featured the NYT columnist Farhad Manjoo earlier (“In a pandemic, everybody’s a socialist”; he is back with a post-Labor Day column suggesting that only a general strike will get sufficient action out of government to remediate the continuing crisis.
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.