September 18, 2020 Weekly Update

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER


September 18, 2020 Weekly Update

UP FRONT

  • Chapter endorsement vote – due SATURDAY
  • Testify for rent control – Sept 24
  • Testify against Pepco’s Price Hike – Sept 29
  • NoVa Tenant Organizing working group – this Saturday
illustration of lightning bolt striking a rose on top of U.S. Capitol Building

Vote by Saturday on endorsement and working group name change

Members should have received an emailed OpaVote ballot on or about Sept. 16. The votes, open to all chapter membership, are on the following resolutions:

  • Resolution 20-09-R01 – Rename and Expand the Scope of the 2020 D.C. Council Election Working Group Full resolution here.
  • Resolution 20-09-R02 – Endorse Mysiki Valentine for D.C. State Board of Education, At-Large. Full resolution here.

Statements in favor of Resolution 2:

Voting will be open until 11:59pm Saturday, September 19th. If you have any questions, please contact secretary@mdcdsa.org.

illustration of lightning bolt striking a rose on top of U.S. Capitol Building

Testify for real rent control – Sept 24 (sign up by Sept 22)
Fill out this form to sign up to testify!

Next week, DC Councilmember Anita Bonds will hold a hearing on a few rent control bills. While we support some of the changes she has proposed in the bills, they fall short. Councilmember Bonds has also failed to schedule a hearing on a more comprehensive rent control bill – the bill that actually reflects the Reclaim Rent Control platform!

The rent control hearing will be held on Thursday, September 24 at 12:00 PM. The deadline to sign up is Tuesday, September 22, at 12:00 PM. Our goal is for 200 people to testify. Can we count on you to testify in favor of real rent control reform in D.C.? Sign up here!

After you sign up, a member from the chapter’s Rent Control Working Group will contact you with additional guidance (or email rentcontrol@mdcdsa.org with questions). If you can’t make the hearing, you can submit written testimony by emailing a statement to housing@dccouncil.us. This summary of the Reclaim Rent Control Coalition’s positions may help in crafting testimony.

It’s going to take all of us to win the rent control reform we need. We hope you’ll stand with tenants to tell the DC Council to pass Reclaim Rent Control platform in full!
— Stu K, Metro D.C. DSA Reclaim Rent Control Working Group

illustration of lightning bolt striking a rose on top of U.S. Capitol Building

Testify Against Pepco’s Price Hike – Sept 29

Pepco is trying to raise electricity prices while ignoring the pandemic and DC’s climate goals. Their plan would be a disaster for working people and do nothing to increase clean energy deployment. On Tuesday, Sept 29 at 2 PM, the DC utility regulator has a virtual community hearing on the case. DC residents can speak for 3-5 minutes, and the Commission is obligated to listen. We need to show up! Our toolkit explains how to register for the hearing and prepare your testimony. To reserve speaking time, you have to email psc-commissionsecretary@dc.gov before Sept 22!  Email wepowerdc@gmail.com  with any questions.

illustration of lightning bolt striking a rose on top of U.S. Capitol Building

NoVa Tenant Organizing Canvass – this Saturday

The NoVa Tenant Organizing working group is making great progress expanding its organizing beyond Southern Towers to other buildings in Alexandria. Last weekend, we organized a canvass at a new building and made contacts with interested tenants. Join us this weekend for another canvass (Saturday) to fight for tenants rights in NoVa. Not able to canvass but interested in tenant organizing in northern Virginia? There are plenty of ways to get involved. We have research teams, court docket watchers, and more. Follow #nova-tenant-organizing on Slack and join our Sunday weekly planning meeting.

*This weekend: Eight, that’s right eight, meetings. Saturday: Pubs team, NoVA anti-eviction canvass, MoCo phone bank vs. Question B; Sunday: NoVA Migrant Justice WG, Defund MPD WG and MDC DSA’s monthly New Member Orientation plus weekly meetings of NoVA tenant organizing WG and M4A WG. Busy bunch of socialists, or what? Find links to them all in the MDC DSA Calendar below.

BRIEFS

This Sunday, 3 PM – New Member Orientation

If you’re a new member, an established member that wants to keep up on chapter work, 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. Campaign leaders are welcome to chime in with a pitch for your activity.

Ed Lazere meets with DSA’s Defund MPD working group – next Sunday

On Sunday, Sep 27th at 10:00 AM, MDC DSA’s endorsed DC Council candidate Ed Lazere will be meeting with members of DSA’s Defund MPD Working Group to talk about racial justice and police violence in Washington, DC. We encourage everyone who can make it to attend so that we can demonstrate just how important this fight is to our Movement. Please register at this link and submit questions here.

Immediately following the discussion, MDC DSA’s Electoral working group is hosting a phone banking training that prepares volunteers to make calls on behalf of Ed’s campaign and improves his chances of winning in November. Should you feel so moved after hearing more about Ed’s plans for his prospective term on the council and his comments on the issues the Defund WG fights to rectify, you are more than welcome to join and help put Ed on the Council. The link to register is here.

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. You can also join the new Defund MPD Actions Interest Group here. Finally, in case you missed it last week, check out our guide on how to talk to the people you know about abolition.

Defund MPD Upcoming Actions
We also want to highlight upcoming actions from our Defund MPD Coalition Partners:

Black Lives Matter Ward 8 Reimagining Safety Webinar
We know there is a lot going on–heightened police violence, brutality and gun violence in our communities–all while dealing with the ongoing impact of COVID-19, which has a disproportionate impact on our people. This Wednesday, Sept. 23 forum (at 6 PM) is an opportunity to hear from directly impacted communities, survivors of violence and organizers on the frontlines. Our hope would be that community members will learn more about alternatives to policing and the importance in investing in services and holistic approaches to safety for Black communities in Ward 8.

They/Them Collective FTP March
A weekly march starting from Dupont Circle every Saturday. Protest Safety Training at 5PM, followed by a white accomplice orientation at 6:00 PM. March starts at 7PM.

DC Protests: No Good Cops in a Racist System March
Join us this Saturday September 19th on our march for black women to show your support for #BlackWomenMatter, and our continued demand for justice. Meet at Malcolm X Park, march starts at 3 pm, white accomplice orientation at 2 pm.

Black Lives Matter Fundraiser for Deon Kay

“But I already DID the Member Survey…”

We are once again asking you to do the Member Survey. It’s ok if you already did it. We’ve added new questions! We just love getting to know you. If you haven’t yet done the survey, please do so now! We are sending invitations and alerts to members based on those responses and you don’t want to miss out! Non-members are also invited. Complete it HERE!

October GMB rescheduled to Oct 18

October’s federal holiday weekend includes the second Sunday of the month, so the October General Body Meeting has been rescheduled to the third Sunday, Oct. 18. Please note the change. An agenda is being built and campaign leaders who would like time at the GBM are asked to make their Red Desk requests in a timely fashion.

MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR SEPTEMBER

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 Socialist, website plans, and more! Welcome to all interested in writing and communications.

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.

Saturday, Sep 19 | 3:30 to 5:30 PM
Phonebank: Vote AGAINST Ballot 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. At 3:30pm we’ll discuss to ballot question B and the autodialer software that we’re using, join at 4:00 if you’ve already made calls. Register here.

Sunday, Sep 20 | 2:00 PM
NOVA Branch Migrant Justice Campaign
The working group will meet to continue planning #FreeThemAll research and actions, to end detention and deportation.

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.

Sunday, Sep 27 | 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Socialist Feminist Reading Group (Monthly)
Join the Socialist Feminist Caucus for our September reading group, where we’ll discuss selections from the classic Third World feminist anthology, This Bridge Called My Back (TBCMB). Readings, participant info and access at link.

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!

Friday, Sep 18 | 7:00 PM EDT
System Change: Capitalism, Socialism and the Solidarity Economy
With the COVID-19 pandemic upending our existing way of life, the possibility of organizing towards a post-capitalist transformation appears well within our grasp. In this session, Julie Matthaei and Emily Kawano will offer their insight and experience on the infrastructure of a solidarity economy centering people, planet, and placemaking rather than profit. More at link.

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.

INFO ACCESS

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 info@mdcdsa.org 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 19 | 5/6/7:00 PM
They/Them Collective FTP March
Dupont Circle
A weekly march starting from Dupont Circle every Saturday. Protest Safety Training at 5 PM, followed by a white accomplice orientation at 6 PM. March starts at 7 PM.

Saturday, Sep 19 | 2/3:00 PM
DC Protests: No Good Cops in a Racist System March
Malcolm X Park
Join us on our march for black women to show your support for #BlackWomenMatter, and our continued demand for justice. Meet at Malcolm X Park, march starts at 3 PM, white accomplice orientation at 2 PM.

Sunday, Sep 20 | 6:45 PM
COVID 19 Families United: United: Donald Trump lied. 195,000 Americans died. Millions infected.
Sponsored by SPACEs in Action, Center for Popular Democracy, Long Live GoGo,and Don’t Mute My Health. This event features testimonials from families in the DC area impacted by COVID-19 and the disparities of our local healthcare system. Please bring a candle, your story and wear black and a mask. Meet at 15th Street and Constitution Ave, NW.

Wednesday, Sep 23 | 6:00 PM
Black Lives Matter Ward 8 – Reimagining Safety Webinar
An opportunity to hear from directly impacted communities, survivors of violence and organizers on the frontlines. Learn more about alternatives to policing and the importance in investing in services and holistic approaches to safety for Black communities in Ward 8.

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.

Sunday, Sep 26 | 5:00 PM
American Healthcare’s Dual Epidemics: Covid-19 and Racism
Webinar hosted by the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition. COVID-19 has clearly shown the failure of our healthcare system, particularly in communities of color. This discussion, led by public health experts and front-line healthcare workers, will demonstrate the urgent need for Improved Medicare For All.

GOOD READS

  • Washington City Paper released their “Best of DC 2020” list, and Reclaim Rent Control has officially been voted the second “Best Real Estate Group.” Of course, we know it’s the first, but we’ll get em next year.

  • When the lede is good, don’t mess with it: “A Trump administration plan to use the census to exclude from congressional representation immigrants who are living here illegally might inadvertently exclude many U.S. citizens living under the radar in states such as Alaska, New Mexico and West Virginia.” From Pew’s Stateline.

  • An account of the fabled Gray Panthers’ leader Maggie Kuhn reminds us (ahem) that there is no age limit on radical activism.

  • In The Conversation, a comms scholar takes on the deepfake videos that can be used to distort what seems to be reality — techniques most recently used to attack candidate Biden’s mental capacity.

  • Whose America Is it? “Apocalyptic terms” have taken over the 2020 election, with potentially dangerous implications. The NYT’s Tom Edsall at his wonkiest.

  • A new study looks at how people in seven countries view the motives of the news media in covering the pandemic. Only in the United States is that a profoundly partisan question. From the Nieman Foundation blog.

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