October 16, 2020

This Saturday, DSA joins the Women’s March on Washington.

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER


October 16, 2020 Weekly Update

UP FRONT

  • Women’s March on Washington – this Saturday, 11AM
  • Monthly General Body Meeting – this Sunday, 3pm 
  • Bylaws Revision Commission preliminary report
Socialist Feminist Caucus Women's March Graphic

Join the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday

The Socialist Feminist Caucus calls on our chapter members and supporters to march with us this Saturday, October 17 at the DC Women’s March. As a Caucus, we reject the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and we say NO to a court placement in 2020. We’re marching to make a socialist feminist presence in DC more visible, recruit new members, and to fight for a working class feminist agenda in all legislative processes. Wear something red and bring a mask. Please RSVP on Action Network to receive confirmation on our pre-rally meeting time.  

And next week, the Afro-Socialist and Socialist-Feminist caucuses have teamed up to invite you to an opportunity to share and listen about the lived experiences of members of marginalized communities. Join us for safe and respectful conversations around the issues of race and gender in the US on October 23, 2020 7:00-9:00PM EST. Please RSVP for the event to receive zoom details. This event welcomes only BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) folx and those who are womxn-identified, people who are non-binary, and marginalized genders.

Monthly General Body Meeting – Sunday, Oct 18 from 3 to 5 pm

We have a jam-packed General Body Meeting coming to you live this Sunday. You can RSVP here at our Meetup page. Our agenda includes a wide series of items that shouldn’t be missed:

  • planning for Election Day and beyond
  • updates on our #DSA100K Recruitment Drive
  • updates from local branches and working groups including Stomp Out Slumlords, Socialist Feminist Caucus, Defund MPD, and the Labor Working Group
  • open time for new business and questions for the steering committee. 
  • and, oh yea, a GOTV rally with endorsed candidates for local office: Ed Lazere, Janeese Lewis George and Mysiki Valentine!

Don’t miss this meeting! Come on out and join this deliberative session with your comrades!

Bylaw Revision Commission delivers its preliminary report

The Bylaws Revision Commission has delivered its preliminary report based on dozens of written member testimonies and participants at open forums! This process is not finished yet, as there will be three additional forums in the next week – this Saturday at 1pm, a special session of the Steering Committee open to member participation on Tuesday at 7pm, and next Thursday at 5pm! Members can access recordings of the previous three forums here: (1, 2, 3) and we welcome all feedback and commentary in the #bylaws-reform channel of the chapter Slack as we move towards writing a final report, which members will be able to amend and debate at the Local Convention in December! 

— Peter G., Bylaws Revision Commission Chair, Steering At-Large

BRIEFS

BRIEFING!

DC Election Updates

The DC Council Race has continued to heat up. In response to attacks from rival at-large candidates, Ed Lazere reiterated his support for peaceful protest, even after one candidate denounced protesters from the Sunrise Movement  – who had been protesting for stronger Rent Control legislation in DC – as “radicals.”

The desperation coming from establishment class in the city is now palpable. But none of this changes our core electoral operations of making calls and making lit-drops. In fact, we recently blew through our second stretch goal of 15,000 calls for Ed – and now we’re pushing for 20,000. How about joining us? New callers can sign up here, and returning callers can sign up for a phone-banking shift here.

Here are some other updates from the race:

Voting Against Ballot Question B in Montgomery County

Organizations in Montgomery County are coalescing against ballot question B because they realize that this restriction on property tax revenue would destroy the county’s ability to provide basic public services. Still, MDC DSA is leading direct outreach to voters against ballot question B. The Montgomery County branch already made over 12,000 calls, but with the election just over two weeks away, we need to contact as many voters as possible before the polls close. We’ve found that our target audience, working class registered Democrats, are happy to vote against B after we explain how this tax scam benefits the wealthy at the expense of working people. We’ll be phone banking, tomorrow, Saturday October 17 at 3:30pm, and Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30pm.

Being prepared for the election — and after

At MDC DSA we are coordinating with ShutDownDC and starting a DSA affinity group to join the movement of groups prepping for election protection and threats to democracy. We have more to come, watch #announcements in our Slack channel.

— Rachel B

Bolivian Elections – Support needed at DMV polling locations

Bolivian elections are this Sunday (10/18) and there are 5 polling locations in the DMV. There’ve been incidents of intimidation of MAS supporters in past elections, so the DMV Bolivian Solidarity Network is trying to gather observers to be outside each polling place (goal is 2-3 observers at each place, in shifts from 6am-7:30pm). If you’d like to volunteer, you can sign-up here. There’s especially a need for people with de-escalation training, and higher need for volunteers between 3 and 6:30pm at Virginia locations. 

If you have questions, contact Kaiser on Slack, or Jair (w/ the solidarity network) at dmvBolivia@gmail.com. If you’re worried about transportation, transportation can be arranged for travel to/from the Virginia locations.

Protest Rally at Chad Wolf’s House – Action #7

​Help stop DHS Human Rights Violations! Meet at 10am on Sunday, October 18 at the intersection of Preston Road and Valley Drive in Alexandria, VA. Masks required! 

Stomp Out Slumlords Halloween March on Bowser’s Castle

Since the start of the pandemic in March, Stomp Out Slumlords have been helping to organize a militant citywide tenant movement spanning dozens of buildings across the DMV. It’s become clear that working landlord-by-landlord isn’t enough–we need to mobilize the working class to call for a comprehensive solution. On Halloween, Saturday, October 31, at 3pm, we’ll be showing up at Mayor Bowser’s house to demand that she push for rent cancellation. We need YOU to show up and volunteer, especially if you are available to drive tenants! Fill out this form if you’d like to ride/volunteer for the march. We’ll be gathering at 3pm at Fort Stevens Park.

BRIEFING!

Project Managers Needed for Continued Chapter Organizational Roles

If you have experience as a project manager, or want to become one for the chapter, please reach out to laurenmdcdsa@gmail.com . We need a lot of help getting organized for the new tech and plans we are preparing to roll out!

BRIEFING!

Labor Rights and Struggle in Mexico

On Sunday, October 18th at 1 pm ET, join the DSA International Committee for a panel including author and journalist David Bacon, Suzanna Miller of the IndustriALL International Union Federation, and Héctor de la Cueva of the CILAS Labor Center of Mexico City on the conditions of struggle for workers’ rights and politics in Mexico. Panelists will cover issues such as maquiladora sweat shop workers fighting to unionize, the new USMCA agreement, and the independent trade union movement of the Mexican Electrical Workers union (SME) who are pushing back against privatization and the state crushing of fair union elections.

BRIEFING!

And in DC Labor Law…

…our comrades at Jobs with Justice remind you that in DC, employees must wear appropriate protective equipment, including masks, in all encounters with co-workers and customers. No employer can retaliate against an employee who refuses to serve a customer who will not wear a mask. “Your workplace must require everyone to wear masks, including customers. Your employer can not retaliate against you for refusing to serve or work with an individual who refuses to wear a mask.

BRIEFING!

Updates from MDC DSA’s Steering Committee

Starting this week and moving forward, Steering will be providing a bi-weekly report for inclusion in the chapter newsletter. Here are some recent highlights:

  • Steering is currently voting on creation of a DSA affinity group in coalition with ShutDownDC in preparation for the election and is broadly preparing for the election through investment in the DSA 100K campaign. Take the pledge if you haven’t already!
  • Communication has recently gone out about the Campaign Council to working group leaders. If you are a working group leader and did not receive an email, please contact Kurtis on slack.
  • Steering voted to co-sponsor the teach-in event titled Organizing for Abolition: #FreeThemAll from the US to Palestine, scheduled for October 17th.
  • Steering voted to endorse the Rally to Unrig the Courts, which was held on October 14th.
  • Steering voted to endorse the Women’s March, which is scheduled for October 17th.
  • Steering has voted to create a Convention Commission to plan and carry out the upcoming Local Convention.

Please reach out on the #steering slack channel or by email at info@mdcdsa.org with any quetsions!

— Kurtis H., Steering At-Large

Big things are afoot for the DSA Green New Deal Campaign…

…and we need all of you in order to grow the campaign at this critical time!  Join the national call Sunday October 18th at 4 PM. If you haven’t registered for the call, please go to this Volunteer Signup form and you’ll see the call registration link in the last question. Additionally, the MDC DSA Ecosocialist Caucus meets TOMORROW, Saturday, at 2 PM “to discuss our chapter’s capacity and strengths to contribute to the national GND campaign.” A link to the meeting is promised in the #ecosocialist Slack channel.

We aim to figure out how chapter work can coalesce with our campaign on a federal green job guarantee, public investment in green, unions jobs in public education, public healthcare, and public transit (the soon-to-be-renamed People’s Shock Doctrine), and public ownership of the energy grid. Sign up for a team: Internal Mobilizing, Research, and Data management and list your skills on that signup form. Here you’ll find info from the Sept. 27 national call: the presentation and the notes.

Please register for the October 18 call now and let us know if you have any questions!

–Sebastian R, MDC DSA Ecosocialist Caucus

METRO DC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS

We are testing out some new approaches to our newsletter. Got thoughts on the layout? Members can join the #publications channel on slack to provide their input

Saturday, October 17

11:00 AM to 3:00 PM | SocFem Gathering for Women’s Rally and March 

1:00 to 2:30 PM | Bylaws Revision Commission Forum

Sunday, October 18

3:00 to 5:00 PM | MDC DSA October General Body Meeting  

6:00 to 7:30 PM | Defund MPD Working Group – Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, October 20

7:00 to 8:00 PM | Special Steering Meeting on Bylaws Reform
to attend, see #steering Slack channel for access link.

Thursday, October 22

7:00 to 8:30 PM | NOVA Branch DSA Organizing Meeting

Friday, October 23 

7:00 to 9:00 PM | AfroSoc and SocFem Social Hour: A Space to Create Dialogue & Connection
This event welcomes only BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) folx and those who are womxn-identified, people who are non-binary, and marginalized genders.

Sunday, October 25

2:00 to 4:00 PM | Socialist Feminist Reading Group
Currently, all SocFem gatherings and discussions are welcoming only those who identify as womxn, non-binary people, or those of marginalized genders. We ask that men do not participate at this time.

3:00 to 4:00 PM | New Member Orientation

 Monday, October 26

6:30 to 8:30 PM | What Is Marxism? (Socialist Night School)

 Tuesday, October 27

7:00 to 8:30 PM  | MDC DSA Steering Committee biweekly meeting
Access on MDC DSA Slack, #steering

Wednesday, October 28

 7:00 to 9:00 PM | Prince George’s County Branch (prov.) biweekly meeting

Thursday, November 5

7:00 to 9:00 PM | Grrrls Night/Happy Hour
Grrrls* Night is a happy hour space for those who identify as womxn, non-binary people, or those who identify as a marginalized gender. We ask that men do not participate at this time.

Sunday, November 8

3:00 to 5:00 PM | MDC DSA Local Chapter November General Body Meeting

Weekly or frequently recurring events:

Phone bank with training for endorsed DC Council candidate Ed Lazere:
Saturdays & Sundays — 11 AM to noon
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — 6 PM to 7 PM

NoVA Tenant Organizing Planning Meeting:
Sundays — 1 PM
Saturdays — Canvasses scheduled as needed

Medicare 4 ALL (#M4A) Workgroup:
Sundays — 5 to 6:30 PM

Phonebank: Vote AGAINST MoCo ballot Question B:
Wednesdays — 6:30 to 8 PM
Saturdays — 3:30 to 5:30 PM

NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS

Check out the newest edition National DSA’s seasonable publication, Democratic Left!

Sunday, Oct 18 | 3:00 PM EDT
Building an Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus
So you want a BIPOC-led DSA? Join us to learn how to build a powerful and thriving Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color caucus in your chapter. We’ll discuss what AFROSOC is and its role in DSA and the left and politics more largely.

Tuesday, Oct 20 | 8:00 PM EDT
What Can Workers Do to Stop Trump from Stealing the Election?
For the past several months politicians like Bernie Sanders have been ringing alarm bells about the very real possibility that Donald Trump and his administration may attempt to contest the results of the U.S. election and refuse to leave office.

Thursday, Oct 22 | 8:00 PM EDT
Q&A about YDSA
Are you a student who is interested in the Democratic Socialists of America but hasn’t joined yet? At a school without a YDSA chapter and not sure about starting one? Are you active in your YDSA chapter but not paying dues? This is the call for you! Join YDSA leaders from colleges and high schools across…

INFO ACCESS

Publications Schedule: One more of MDC DSA’s Weekly Updates left this month — Friday,  October 23.  The November issue of the Washington Socialist will be published Friday, October 30 with an article deadline Saturday, October 24. Send contributions to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org if you have words of wisdom in advance of US history’s longest Election Day ever. 

“But I already DID the Member Survey…”

We are once again asking you to do the Member Survey. 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! 

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. Put “request for #Slack” in the subject line. 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.

EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV

Saturday, October 17

1:00 to 3:00 PM EST | Defund the Police MoCo
2407 Reedie Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20902
Join us for social distanced, masked rally to call on Montgomery County to reimagine public safety and defund the police in our county!

Monday, October 19

2:00 to 3:00 PM EST | The Cost of Our Health Care System: Why Medicare for All Saves Money & Lives
Join the Medicare for All Congressional Caucus and Co-Chairs Pramila Jayapal and Debbie Dingell for a virtual panel discussion with AFA union president Sara Nelson and UNITE HERE union co-president Ada Briceño and other experts on the impact Medicare for All would have on employers, workers, unions, and the overall health system from a cost and resource perspective

6:45 PM EST | Reel and Meel
Featuring “The Definition of Insanity,”  the story of a jail diversion program for the mentally ill in Broward County Florida. This change in police, court and social service practice (pre-pandemic) is far more supportive and helpful, rather than punitive. The film and discussion, facilitated by filmmaker Gabe London, will be streamed on Zoom. Registration required.

Wednesday, October 21

12:30 PM | Mourn, March, & Movement: A Procession for a People’s Vaccine
Right to Health Action (R2H) is organizing a march to the Department of Health and Human Services to demand a People’s Vaccine. Black, brown, immigrant and other People of Color and poor people are the most impacted by Covid-19, and those are the communities that the country should be taking care of when we talk about relief from this deadly virus. Gather behind Botanic Garden at 100 Maryland Ave SW at 12:30.

6:00 PM | Where’s the Money DC? Webinar hosted by SPACES in Action
There’s a lot the DC government could do in its budget to address the structural racism in our city, especially for children who, from birth, face racial and economic barriers to quality care and academic achievement. Learn more about what we can do as residents to change the game for children of color and from low-income families in part one of the SPACES in Action’s Leadership Academy series.

 Saturday, October 24

3:00 to 5:00 PM | Making Science Work for Social Justice
Our workshop is intended for a wide audience with diverse perspectives. At the core of solidarity science is a focus on reaching multiple experiences and understandings to solve problems. Our audience is asking how to demand more from the scientific community, how to create coalition, how to listen to each other better, how to critique the role of science in our lives, and rather than asking, “how do we fix this?”, asking, “who do we need at the table to fix this?” Everyone is warmly welcome at this lively, exciting, and provocative workshop – join us!

Wednesday, November 18 

6:00 to 8:00 PM EST | DC Jobs With Justice “I’ll Be There” Awards
Virtually this year we’ll honor some of the outstanding leaders in our work, and remind ourselves of our values as a community in our single largest event of the year.

and every thursday from now until November 12th, the Maryland Campaign for Human Rights is hosting a 5-week environmental justice training program for faith communities. The virtual classes will cover disparities in environmental access and protection, climate justice and how to protect vulnerable communities, and how to use advocacy tactics to restore justice. Later sessions will include time and group conversation and planning.

GOOD READS

  • The revival of socialism as a viable political and organizational idea has led DSA member Harold Meyerson to write on “The Socialist Moment and How to Extend It,” in The Prospect.

  • Jennifer Rubin, conservative columnist for the WaPo through Never Trumper in this dark season, calls on the neolib Congress to fend off bad SCOTUS of the future by acting like legislators…but the oldest member of the Pubs WG edit team is partial to this one, of course, because…

  • From the Metro DC Labor Council’s newsletter Union City: Check out “the catchy chorus of the brand-new video released yesterday by the Coalition of Labor Union Women, featuring the DC Labor Chorus… “Our goal is to empower women to be leaders in their community and in the political arena,” said CLUW.

  • From The Hill: Postal service crisis – California is ready to pilot a postal banking solution.

  • An NYT op-ed observes that the coronavirus has exposed another schizophrenic social arrangement — the disjunction of child care and public schooling, which has hurt both. An argument for the community schools model is nicely embedded here.

  • Try not to cringe from this low-calorie Twitter drama: here you can watch a DSA member catch a local politician lying about his record as a housing developer.

  • The Day One Hassle Project, from the LA Times and sent our way by our comrade Jules B. Nobody quoted in here has been asked to answer the question: Will a Biden administration listen to any group that didn’t lift a finger to get him across the finish line. That is a bit of a rule in elective political life, and it would seem to leave DSA out. 

  • Walda Katz-Fishman and Jerome Scott spell out the working class struggle in the context of the 2020 elections in “Fascism & Class Struggle – the Urgency of the Moment” 

The local sent five delegates to the October 14-16 DSA national convention in New York, the first convention since the DSOC-NAM merger. Delegates were Dorothy Healey, Richard Healey, Marjorie Phyfe, Chris Riddiough and Jim Wallace, all of whom were also elected to DSA’s National Executive Committee. In the November Washington Socialist, Wallace noted two organizational milestones coming out of the convention; DSA had grown to 7000 members since the merger, and feminist author and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich was elected national co-chair of DSA along with Michael Harrington.

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