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November 27, 2020 Weekly Update
- Supporting laid off workers – Monday, November 30
- Green New Deal 12/11 action planning – meeting Sunday
- Metro DC DSA Local Convention – December 12 and 13
MDC DSA stands with laid off workers
At the Steering Committee meeting on November 24, committee members voted 10-0 to sign a coalition letter in support of D.C. Council Bill #23-965, which is titled the “Displaced Workers Right to Reinstatement and Retention Amendment Act.”
According to the bill summary page on the D.C. Council’s website, this bill would “provide eligible workers who have been displaced by COVID-19 the opportunity to be reinstated once their employer reopens after the pandemic.”
The objective of this campaign is to advocate for D.C. Council members to pass the bill. The coalition — led by D.C. Jobs With Justice and UNITE HERE Local 25 — has also asked that supporting organizations participate in a social media push on Monday, November 30 in support of the bill.
Green New Deal action planning meeting – Sunday, 11/29 at 4pm
On the weekend of December 12, DSA’s national Green New Deal+Medicare for All campaigns are coordinating actions to help shift the national narrative and put pressure on establishment Democrats to act on climate change. We’re fighting for a COVID-19 and economic recovery response that centers the working class and can serve as a launchpad for the decade of the Green New Deal.
Given our location, DC is a central node in the national strategy, so what we pull off will be important for shaping the narrative that emerges around the action. If you’re interested in helping plan out our DC activities, there will be a call this Sunday at 4:00 PM.
We’re in the middle of unprecedented, intersecting crises with massive human costs. And instead of figuring out how to align with popular movement demands like a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and defunding police to reinvest in care — which reflect real needs of the masses — establishment Democrats are blaming the left for their own losses.
— Immediate COVID-19 Crisis Relief (including $2,000 per month for all)
— A Green Stimulus (including investments in renewable Public Power)
— A Green Job Guarantee
— The PRO Act
— The Healthcare Emergency Guarantee Act
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 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.
You can RSVP for the convention here! We ask that members anticipating attendance signup at the link.
We will be holding workshops once a week going forward until the convention deadline for proposal submissions. If you have any questions about the convention, please ask in the #2020-convention slack channel or message Gabriel R. on Slack at @gabriel
THE WEEKEND...is very, very open
Being good socialists, you will of course not fall down the rabbit hole of online shopping today (Friday).
That will give you plenty of time to finish that article for the December (pre-Convention) issue of the Washington Socialist, to be emailed next Friday, Dec. 4. The article deadline is tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 28) and you can submit at email@example.com .
Highlights from Tuesday’s November 24 Steering Committee meeting
- The Steering Committee voted to sign a letter of support for D.C. Council Bill #23-965, the “Displaced Workers Right to Reinstatement and Retention Amendment Act” on behalf of the MDC DSA chapter. The letter can be seen here.
- Steering passed a motion that Metro DC DSA officially endorse the national DSA Green New Deal campaign and assign Ryan M and Stu K to work with Eco Soc on the campaign on behalf of steering.
- Brian has provided the linked Treasurer’s report.
Please reach out on the #steering slack channel or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
— Kurtis H., Steering At-Large
Defund MPD update: Relational Organizing for Abolition meeting on 12/1
Join the political education subcommittee on December 1st, 7-8 pm for the fourth session on relational organizing for abolition. We will be discussing our experiences in talking to people we know about defunding and abolishing police and how we can keep working to draw people into the movement.
Following a very successful letter writing campaign with the Defund MPD coalition (over 1,000 signatures!) our working group will meet with Councilmember Nadeau on Monday, December 7th to discuss our demands for a collective bargaining agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police, DC’s police union.
Finally, it’s been announced that DC Police Chief Peter Newsham will be stepping down to head to Prince William County in Northern Virginia. His departure follows months of acute and widespread criticism of his handling of the MPD over the past few years (and even before he was appointed as police chief…).
Local DSA and long-time budget advocate Ed Lazere, a local DSA member and who fell just short of winning the At-Large council race, called for his resignation during his campaign.
SocFem Caucus moving night – December 8th at 7pm
The Socialist Feminist caucus will be hosting a movie night on December 8th at 7pm in lieu of our monthly business meeting. We will watch “Little White Lie,” a Jewish woman’s story of being kept in the dark about her African- American heritage. We will also have our Social Hour on December 3rd at 7pm! Please make sure to RSVP for both events in order to get the Zoom link.
Yes, you will successfully recruit your friends for MDC DSA
You know who you are — you signed the DSA 100K pledge to approach three folks you know about joining DSA, but ummm… the first move is the hardest, But hey, this is the perfect icebreaker. Just send them this link, with “hey, I know you wanted to know more about DSA. Well, there’s this: Why You Should Join DSA | 8-9pm on Wednesdays” (for example, Dec. 2) … where your friends will learn about who we are and what we do. We’ll outline our chapter’s structure and our campaigns, branches, and caucuses and the breadth of our DMV action. Give them the full picture about the amazing upside of DSA and democratic socialism.
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. Bylaws review will be a major element in the upcoming Local MDC DSA Convention currently scheduled for December 12 and 13.
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Sunday, November 29
4 – 5:15pm | Green New Deal organizing meeting
8 – 11pm | Queer Caucus Watch Party: Equal (episode 3)
Wednesday, December 2
8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA
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. Get the full picture about the amazing upside of DSA and democratic socialism.
Thursday, December 3
7 – 8pm | Medicare for All Discussion Group
New, and every other Thursday. Registration and discussion readings at link.
7 – 9pm | GRRLZ Night Happy Hour
Just what it sounds like. Grrrls* Night is a virtual happy hour space for those who identify as womxn, non-binary people, or those of marginalized genders. We ask that men do not participate at this time. Register at link
Saturday, December 5th
2 – 3pm | Labor Working Group Planning Meeting: Worker Organizing Workshops
LWG will be meeting to start planning for our new WOW project, a program that connects workers and DSA members with organizers to go over labor rights and assist in workplace and internal union organizing
Sunday, December 6
2 – 4:30pm | MoCo DSA December Branch Meeting
We’re 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.
2 – 3pm | Labor Working Group Planning Meeting: Labor Speaker Series
LWG will be meeting to start planning our new Labor Speaker Series project, an educational series that will bring in local union and worker rights activists in an ongoing way to educate DSA members on workplace rights, labor history, and more.
8-11pm | Queer Caucus Watch Party: Equal (episode 4)
Tuesday, December 8
Caucus Meeting where we discuss and plan our work. We welcome DSA members and supporters alike.
7 – 8:30pm | Biweekly Steering Committee Meeting
All MDC DSA members welcome to attend. Agenda and access in Slack #steering channel.
Saturday, December 12 – Sunday, December 13
11am Saturday – 4pm 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.
Thursday, December 17
7-8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
We will be welcoming new members and discussing planning for our current actions and working groups
Weekly or frequently recurring events:
Sundays – 1 to 2pm
Saturdays – Canvasses scheduled as needed (See above for this week’s canvass!!)
Sundays – 5 to 6:30pm
Wednesdays – 8pm to 9pm: New Member Orientation
New to DSA? New-ish? Joined a while back and want to get involved again? 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.
NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS
Wednesday, December 2 | 8pm
Workplace Organizing Training Program: Escalation and Public Action
Part of a 5-session training — info and registration at the link
Them and Us Unionism
Militant, activist, democratic unions: in DSA, we know that’s what we support, but what do such unions really look like? Panel discussion; info and registration at link.
Friday, December 4 | 7pm
Organizing the Diaspora: The U.S.-China Conflict, Anti-Asian Racism, and Transnational Solidarity
How can leftists of color and allies help connect transnational solidarity to anti-racist movement-building at home? Follow link for info and registration for this webinar.
Friday, December 4 | 8pm
Building a Left that Can Fight and Win
Socialists must take a hard look at the underlying trends in American political life: the dangerous growth of an assertive, white-supremacist Right and the weakness of declining centrist liberalism.
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV
Wednesday, December 2 | 7pm
350.org webinar on support for Georgia Senate candidates
Outlining virtual and on-the-ground volunteer efforts to get out the vote and keep Georgia blue. During the webinar, you’ll learn about the significance of the Georgia Senate runoffs, how local organizers pulled off their historic victory, and what you can do to be a part of the upcoming races in Georgia. . Will you register to join us next Wednesday?
Thursday, December 3 | 7pm
Schools not Jails!
In order for Maryland to end the school-to-prison pipeline, we must know “Who Represents Us” and how their office can be used to make systematic changes to our education and criminal justice system. A webinar — Click here to get zoom link and RSVP, or view the Facebook stream.
Envisioning an Internationalist Green New Deal
Science for the People‘s next (and last) People’s Green New Deal teach-in. Please register here for the zoom link. Participants include top DSA GND scholar Thea Riofrancos and Brian Ward of Red Nation – Great Lakes.
The Publications Working Group marches on – we are reframing the archive of Washington Socialist articles for better layout and accessibility to this rich, near-decade trove of digital articles about socialism in the DMV. At our recent meeting we had a wide-ranging discussion of articles in the Washington Socialist going forward. Are we presenting the kinds of articles that we need to keep our membership informed and build socialism (and membership) within the wider DMV political and cultural left? If so, who will write those articles? Remember, we have no paid staff and cannot make “assignments” so you will have to assign these topics to yourself, and then, yep, write the articles. Let us know what you think, and what you want to do about it, at email@example.com or in our Slack channel, #publications.
Publications Schedule –The December (pre-convention) issue of the Washington Socialist is scheduled for publication Friday, December 4, with an article deadline of tomorrow, Saturday, November 28. Members submitting resolutions to the convention (other than bylaws) are invited to make their arguments in articles in that monthly newsletter issue. Submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org .
In December we will email Updates on Fridays, December 11, 16 and, yes, the 25th, and the New Year’s 2021 issue of the Washington Socialist will appear on Friday, January 1, 2021. The December 16 Update may include articles about the local convention, which will have just taken place. Stay tuned on that.
“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 email@example.com 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.
Bernie in the Guardian: How do we Avoid Future Authoritarians? Winning Back the Working Class is Key
Despite Biden’s margin, “the election results did also reveal something that should be a cause for concern. Trump received 11 million more votes than he did in 2016, increasing his support in many distressed communities…”
Another in an encouraging cascade of arguments that professional-scale lawmaking by Congress can subvert or avert past, present and future bad rulings from SCOTUS. This one, a joint project of the American Prospect and The Intercept, is long, detailed and programmatic, with how-tos in critical areas like health care and reproductive rights, labor and corporate power, the environment, voting rights, criminal justice and incarceration, and more. Take notes on this one.
An essay from a DMV bouncer on the forgotten nightlife industry workers in DC – on ways to support DC’s forgotten working class, and where local legislation is helping to intervene on behalf of workers.
- Latest statistical research on the 2020 electorate from Pew, via Portside.
- From the LA Times via Portside, corporate greed is hovering in the wings as publicly-funded research appears convertible to private profit in the fish-in-a-barrel market of this raging pandemic. And in David Cay Johnson’s DC Report, Phil Matttera traces the twisty history of Pfizer’s duplicitous engagements with regulators.
Gary Younge ended his tour as a regular columnist for the Guardian a year ago, alas, but it’s great to see what still animates him: “How Republicans applied old school racism to new demographics, and lost.” A rich, substantive and long read about how history’s hiccups are defining our time; “…viewed through the lens of this summer’s Black Lives Matter rebellions and the US’s changing demographics, this moment is better understood as the death throes of the first civil war than the birth of a second.”
Tony Blinken is likely to be the next Secretary of State – and Jonathan Guyer wrote a profile on his ex-Obama corporate work in The Prospect which might make him an adversary to activists.
A collaborative report from Organizing Upgrade via Portside asserts that “The United States will be a multiracial democracy – a democracy in which people of color have full democratic rights — or it won’t be a democracy at all. This is the key lesson of the Trump era, and the necessary starting point for left strategy.” However, “Right-wing populism’s power is in its ability to convince individuals that their material suffering can be alleviated by attacking others who also suffer from capitalism.”
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.