November 13, 2020 Weekly Update
With Biden’s victory and the small opening for climate action, we’ve all been thinking about next organizing steps. Chapters across the country are mobilizing for DSA’s national Green New Deal campaign and this Sunday at 1 PM, we’ll have our first Ecosocialist Caucus local campaign meeting. Join us by RSVPing here!
In September, the GND summit landed on three priorities going into 2021 for a Democrat trifecta scenario: a federal job guarantee, people’s shock doctrine, and public power. The GND Campaign Committee has been planning three waves of national mobilizations around those demands — mid December, inauguration, and during negotiations in January/February.
Due to the reality of a divided government, the national DSA campaign committee is re-evaluating how to proceed but is moving forward with mobilizing for national action in mid December. DC’s action will have a “Tier 1” focus since we are situated in the nation’s capitol — which means we have to step up! The broad outcome goals of this national action are:
- Launching the campaign — establishing DSA as a national political force going into 2021
- DSA capacity building and mobilization — using the action as a springboard for deeper national and local organizing around a GND
Planning for alternatives is essential. At Sunday’s meeting we will detail and discuss the emerging national strategy and our chapter’s role in it, explore the mid-December action and strengthen our working group’s capacity to organize inside and outside our local chapter in preparation for next steps..
RSVP here to receive the meeting’s Zoom link: https://actionnetwork.org/events/gnd-action-planning-meeting
— Michael B, Ecosocialist WG co-chair
Find out how to build a better future together in our “Why You Should Join DSA” call tonight at 8PM
New to DSA? New-ish? Joined a while back and want to get involved again?
Join us for a brief call this Friday at 8pm and find out how we can build a brighter socialist future together! We’ll talk about our working groups and how you can get involved in building real power with your fellow comrades.
You will learn about who we are and what we do. We’ll outline our chapter’s structure and our campaigns, branches, and caucuses. Our chapter covers the DMV area, including the District, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland.
A busy Sunday for Socialists..
Looking for something to do this weekend? DSA has a busy week of organizing – check out our planned meetings for this Sunday:
11 AM – 12:30 PM | Publications Working Group Meeting
Work session to organize writing and editing for our Weekly Newsletter and Washington Socialist. Newcomers and pros welcome.
1 PM – 2:15 PM | GND Action Planning Meeting
See details above.
3 PM – 4:00 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.
1 PM – 2 PM | NoVA Tenant Organizing Planning Meeting
This meeting is for planning the support of the striking tenants of Southern Towers to discuss research and canvassing work.
5 PM – 6:30 PM | Medicare4All Working Group
10 AM – noon | Protest Rally at Chad Wolf’s House
Stop DHS Human Rights Violations – meet at the intersection of Preston Rd and Valley Dr in Alexandria, VA — Masks required! (not DSA organized, but allied!)
Urgent Request! Help protect our neighbors in Montgomery County from utility shutoffs
Montgomery County DSA is supporting families’ access to electricity with Power for the People, an Action Network fundraiser that directly pays Pepco energy bills for struggling families. We’re $3,300 short of meeting the requests we’ve gotten, and running out of time: Pepco resumes disconnections on November 15. Donate today to help families keep their lights on. 100% of donations (minus transaction fees) go to neighbors in need.
Socialism in One County – PG County Branch Meeting – Wednesday Nov 18, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Come one, come all, and join us in an open virtual gathering of democratic socialists in Prince George’s County on Wednesday, November 18 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Defeating Donald Trump was an enormous victory in resisting the anti-democratic and openly racist and misogynistic policies and rhetoric emanating from the White House since 2016. But now we must continue to organize in our own community to build and sustain community political engagement, to push for reforms that make a meaningful difference to people while sustaining the political vision of an alternative society.
And that includes building Prince George’s County DSA – preliminary to becoming an official branch as part of Metro DC DSA next month. Our Forum will be an opportunity to hear from leading activists in the County talk about their perspectives on what needs to be done, and to meet fellow socialists. We will have speakers and workshops focused on ending the school to prison pipeline, on housing, health care, police accountability, progressive legislation, imagining a different community.
We invite non-members to join, current members to become re-engaged and all to listen and engage. Please RSVP here to get Zoom link.
— Kurt S, PG Branch
Recent highlights from the MDC DSA Steering Committee:
- Rachel B. and many comrades successfully organized demonstrations in the days following the election to emphasize the importance of counting all of the votes.
- Steering voted to approve expenditures for the election related demonstrations, including portable chargers, masks, and other protest supplies.
- The Bylaws Reform Commission has published the final draft of the Bylaws that will be proposed at the upcoming local convention.
- Steering has continued to prioritize the DSA100k initiative through relational organizing training.
- Tim Z is working with Socialist Night School and Howard University’s YDSA chapter to put on a collaborative event.
- The Steering Committee stands in solidarity with The Democracy Collaborative Workers’ Union, many of whom are MDC DSA members, in their fight against The Democracy Collaborative’s efforts to layoff a third of their bargaining unit without fair compensation.
Please reach out on the #steering slack channel or by email at email@example.com with any questions!
— Kurtis H. Steering At-Large
SocFem Caucus preps for MDC DSA Convention, WG status
The Soc-Fem caucus is currently working on a proposal for the convention, coming up with fundraising ideas, and making strides toward our goal of creating a working group by 2021. Our next meeting, November 22 @ 2PM EST, is the reading group where we will be discussing “Through the Eyes of Rebel Woman” by Iris Morales.
— Issie O
Metro DC DSA Convention is Coming Up
The MDC DSA Convention is rapidly approaching. It will be held on December 12th and 13th, with both sessions starting at noon. We are proud to announce that the Dr. Vijay Prashad, executive-director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books has graciously agreed to give a talk to break up the hours of debate. He has spoken before at MDC DSA Night Schools and we are happy to welcome him back for our convention. Proposals for the convention are still being accepted and can be submitted using this form. We have also hosted our first Convention Bylaws workshop, where the convention commission answered any and all questions about proposing something for the convention. We will be holding them once a week going forward until the convention deadline for proposal submissions. If you have any questions about the convention please ask them in the #2020-convention slack channel or message Gabriel R. on Slack at @gabriel
Metro DC DSA Bylaws Revision Commission – Final Report
This is our final report into our findings after initial membership forums and written submissions, the preparation of a preliminary report and bylaws text, and subsequent membership forums and written submissions informed by the content of that report. You can see our final report here.
We thank the dozens of members of the chapter who made written or oral submissions for their immense assistance in preparing the report, answering questions, and helping to identify potential changes (as well as concerns with changes that have been proposed).
Trump’s three-inch horses are coming to DC on Saturday
On Saturday, several pro-Trump and white nationalist groups are planning to rally down in DC in an effort to further Trump’s baseless claims about a stolen election.
DSA is not endorsing any counter protest of the event, and given DC’s increasing COVID caseload (and that some random confrontation is what Trump wants), consider saving energy for another day. But counter-protesters are planning to meet by the Supreme Court building around 12pm.
If you want to be plugged into our larger election-related protest organizing, you can fill out our electoral affinity organizing group form here. Once on the radar, we will help connect you to our chapter resources (such as our virtual buddy systems) and more secure communications to help keep us safe during protests. We are also using these systems to organize response to election-related outbursts from the president and help coordinate with other organizations in the region.
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
TODAY, Friday, November 13
8 – 9 PM | Why You Should Join DSA Call
Sunday, November 15
11 AM – 12:30 PM | Publications Working Group Meeting
1 – 2 PM | NoVA Tenant Organizing Planning Meeting
1 – 2:15 PM | GND Action Planning Meeting
3 PM – 4:00 PM| MDC DSA New Member Orientation
5 – 6:30 PM | Medicare4All Working Group
8 PM – 11 PM | Queer Caucus Watch Party: Equal (episode 1)
2 – 4:30 PM | MoCo DSA General Branch Meeting
Wednesday, November 18
7 – 8:30 PM | NoVA Branch DSA General Organizing Meeting
6:30 – 8:30 PM | “Socialism in One County” Prince George’s DSA Welcome and Public Outreach Meeting
Thursday, November 19
7 – 8:30 PM | November Labor Working Group meeting
7 – 8:30 PM | M4A Discussion Group
We’ll be reviewing progressive grassroots organizing case studies to plan M4A organizing under the new administration
Saturday, November 21
1 – 5 PM | NoVA Tenants Rights/Anti-Eviction Canvass
7 – 8:30 PM | NoVA DSA Book Club
We are kicking off our own NoVA book club! We are reading/discussing Alex Vitale’s The End of Policing.
Sunday, November 22
2 – 4 PM | SocFem Reading Group
8 – 11 PM | Queer Caucus Watch Party: Equal (episode 2)
Monday, November 23
7 – 8:30 PM | Socialist Night School: The Healthcare Fallout
Speaker panel of healthcare activists and policy experts discussing the problems of our healthcare system made worse by COVID-19 and how to fight for Medicare for All
Tuesday, November 24
5 – 7:00 PM | NoVA Migrant Justice Research Meeting
7 – 8:30 PM | Biweekly MDC DSA Steering Committee
Access info on MDC DSA Slack #steering channel. Members welcome.
Wednesday, November 25
7 – 9 PM | PGC Branch Meeting
Pre-holiday virtual social gathering; link forthcoming
Sunday, November 29
8 – 11 PM | Queer Caucus Watch Party: Equal (episode 3)
Sunday, December 6
2 – 4:30 PM | MoCo DSA December Branch Meeting
We’ll be joined by state delegates (and MoCo DSA members) Gabe Acevero and Vaughn Stewart, who will discuss the upcoming state legislative session and which bills we may want to advocate on.
Tuesday, December 8
7 – 9:00 PM | MDC DSA Socialist Feminist Caucus Business Meeting
Caucus Meeting where we discuss and plan our work. We welcome DSA members and supporters alike.
Saturday, December 12 – Sunday, December 13
11 AM Saturday – 4 PM Sunday | MDC DSA Local Chapter Annual Convention
One of the most important events held by the chapter. Open to all MDC DSA members in good standing. Members should RSVP early to get a count of attendees. Much more info is at RSVP link, above.
Weekly or frequently recurring events:
NoVA Tenant Organizing Planning Meeting:
Sundays — 1 PM
Saturdays — Canvasses scheduled as needed
Medicare 4 ALL (#M4A) Workgroup:
Sundays — 5 to 6:30 PM
NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS
Monday, Nov 16
8:30 PM EST | Building DSA as a Mass Organization
What is a mass organization and why is it different from what many people experience as activists and organizers?
Tuesday, Nov 17
8:30 PM EST | How to Choose a Strategic Electoral Campaign
Join DSA’s National Electoral Committee to learn about how to choose your chapter’s next electoral campaign.
Wednesday, Nov 18
8:00 PM EST | Workplace Organizing Training Program: Mapping and Charting a Workplace
Join the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC) for our five-session (Wednesdays) organizer training program, designed for people interested in joining a union, addressing safety or equality issues at work, or just learning more about labor!
Thursday, Nov 19
7:30 PM EST | The Spirit of Black Radical Traditions
The spirit of black radical traditions, at their best, can turn the world upside down and help usher in a political economy of dignity, voice, and decision-making power for working-class communities.
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV
November 12 – 13
Meeting the Moment: Building a more resilient nation (a virtual gathering)
Hosted by the Progressive Caucus Action Fund and the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center. Speakers include Reps. Jayapal, Lee, Omar and Raskin plus many movement leaders. Click to register;
Monday, November 16
6:45 PM | Reel and Meal will feature ‘John Lewis: Get in the Way.”
Lewis, Congressman for Georgia’s 5th district since 1987, was a man cast into extraordinary times dedicated to seeking justice for the marginalized and ignored. While the film spans more than half a century of courage, confrontations and triumphs, it also provides a current message of being steadfast, politically engaged and compassionate during vitally interesting times. Discussion leaders include SCLC PG and PG Change Makers reps.
Wednesday, November 18
6:00 – 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.
November 17 and 19
Building an Antiracist Economy in Maryland
Virtual reports and panel discussion presented by the Maryland Center on Economic Policy. Info and registration to come. A basically social-democratic think tank on the model of EPI; you can sign up for their email list here.
Interested in helping out with our publications? Or want to help shape the local left-wing narrative? Our Publications Team is having a meeting this Sunday at 11:00am. You can sign-up to participate here.
Publications Schedule: November updates are published Fridays, Nov. 20 and 27 and the December (pre-Convention) issue of the Washington Socialist will be published Friday, Dec. 4.
“You haven’t yet done our 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
The election is over, sort of, but the articles in November’s issue of the Washington Socialist haven’t gotten stale — voter suppression, being prepared for fascist eruptions and the many ways that the struggle continues are, we are bold to say, timeless.
Left veterans Bill Fletcher Jr. and Carl Davidson take a seasoned look at the enduring illnesses betrayed anew by “this election [which] was about racism and revanchism.” It’s in the increasingly essential “Organizing Upgrade.”
This admonition from Sen. Nina Turner in the WaPo is getting lots of circ among Our Rev folks: “Working people delivered Biden his victory. Now he needs to deliver for them. Or risk another Trump.”
Bernie echoes that sentiment and recommends a familiar battle flag for wins in the Georgia runoffs: a Fight for Fifteen.
AOC will probably have plenty of interview encounters about what’s next in the upcoming weeks. We wonder how many of them will deep-dive into the Dem party structure, inadequacies and foot-dragging tendencies as much as this one, from the NYT .
This, from Popular Resistance; savor it for the headline “US Murder Machine Now Under Competent Management” — “I think we’re all breathing a lot easier knowing that the US government will now be run by grown-ups who murder people instead of emotionally stunted children who murder people.”
Industrial Worker magazine interviews lifelong labor activist and musician, Tom Morello. Mr. Morello discusses how labor has been the theme of his life, and how the various forms of activism he’s pursued have come full circle to inform even more activism. “I want you to go and get exactly 155 donuts and I want you to deliver those donuts to those cops, since they’re not serving and protecting anybody they might as well be enjoying a tasty treat,” he said, inspiring the reader with creative praxis ideas. He notes earnestly that his new photobook is in solidarity with and as an homage to the IWW’s “Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent”, also known as “The Little Red Songbook”.
Naomi Klein: Between a clueless, skill-less party and an unappealing candidate, the Dems in the grip of big money lost a lot and nearly lost it all, when they should have cleaned up like Roosevelt v. Hoover. Time for Democrats To Betray the Donor Class—Not the People
Some same-day takes from final-call Saturday afternoon:
- Tom Frank in the Guardian — “Democrats must confront their own past and acknowledge how their own decisions over the years helped make Trumpism possible. … Biden’s name is virtually synonymous with Washington consensus. His years in the US Senate overlap almost precisely with his party’s famous turn to the ‘third way’ right, and Biden personally played a leading role in many of the signature initiatives of the era: NAFTA-style trade agreements, lucrative favors for banks, tough-on-crime measures, proposed cuts to social security, even.”
- Harold Meyerson from the American Prospect — “What kind of Democratic majority exists remains a question. In the wake of the party’s diminished standing in the House, centrists are blaming progressives and vice versa. It’s certainly true that the politics of the Squad don’t play well in most of rural America, and it’s just as certainly true that, absent the high urban turnout among progressives and the increasingly radical young, Biden wouldn’t have won the presidency. In a sense, the Democrats’ problems are a reflection of their strength. With the leftward movement of tens of millions of their partisans, and with the anti-Trump sentiments of tens of millions of more centrist Americans, the party now spans a vast ideological space.”
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.