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January 22, 2021
- SATURDAY – Demand the Biden Administration #CancelRent !
- MDC DSA Steering Committee Election – candidate forum Tuesday, 1/26
- SATURDAY – Launching PG County Ecosocialist WG
SATURDAY – CANCEL RENT, DON’T SUBSIDIZE SLUMLORDS!
Join Stomp out Slumlords and tenants from across DC as we demand the Biden Administration cancel rent and ban evictions nationwide. No one should have to ever choose between housing or food — not least during a pandemic. Bailout the people — not slumlords!
We will be delivering this message to a senior official personally. As socialists, we know that we need to pressure the Biden administration to provide real relief to the working class after ten months and counting of a devastating pandemic. Technocratic fixes at the margins will not save us.
We are taking precautions to ensure the event goes ahead smoothly. So please register to attend or volunteer for the action.
Steering Committee Special Election – Candidates Forum Tuesday, 1/26
There are four candidates running in the Steering special election: Runal D., Frank F., Stephanie G., and Diego J. Candidate questionnaires have been posted to the members portal and will be posted to the chapter website shortly.
We will create a Slack channel for the purposes of electioneering at #special-election-2021, which members can join to engage with the candidates, in adherence with the chapter code of conduct and standing election rules. Chapter working groups, caucuses, and committees are also encouraged to invite candidates to speak at any of their upcoming meetings, provided that the invitation is extended to all four candidates.
SATURDAY – PG County DSA Ecosocialist WG kickoff
Fired up about a Green New Deal? How about stopping fossil fuel infrastructure and making polluters pay reparations? Do you have a lot of opinions about how our economy should be shaped by our ecology? Does your own temperature rise when industry locates their most dangerous sites in BIPOC and working class communities?
If this sounds like you – you might be an ecosocialist! Join us for a DSA PG Branch discussion all about ecosocialism this Saturday, 1/23 at 1:00 PM. We’ll give you an overview about what ecosocialism is and what action could look like for our branch. You’ll come away informed about the current environmental fights taking place nationally, in Maryland, and here in Prince George’s County, and get to shape our campaigns centered around these fights. This is our first ecosocialist meeting as a branch – together we’ll decide on our next steps to build power and fight for our collective future.
48 Years of Roe v Wade: No Reproductive Freedom without Medicare for All
The DSA Socialist Feminist Working Group has relaunched, and one of their main priorities will be to organize a powerful socialist feminist struggle for abortion access and reproductive justice!
The DSA Socialist Feminist Working Group and the Medicare for All Committee are hosting a panel discussion this Saturday at 4pm ET on how we can win reproductive freedom through the fight for Medicare for All. Speakers will include: Jenny Brown (she/her), National Women’s Liberation organizer and former editor of Labor Notes, leader in the grassroots campaign to make morning-after pill contraception available over the counter and author of Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women’s Work (PM Press, 2019) and Without Apology: The Abortion Struggle Now (Verso, 2019). Jaz Gonzalez (she/they), San Antonio DSA member, reproductive justice organizer and SASS (Self Managed Abortion Safe and Supported) member, and Renee Rivas (they/them), who organized at UT Rio Grande Valley for reproductive and immigrant justice and is an activist for abortion storytelling.
MoCo Action Against Police Violence — Sunday, January 24
MoCo DSA is part of the Silver Spring Justice Coalition (SSJC), which has been in touch with the family of Kwamena Ocran. Kwamena was shot and killed by Gaithersburg police on Jan. 8. The police are using the typical propaganda language about what happened, and are refusing to answer a number of very important questions that SSJC is asking.
SSJC has the go-ahead from the family to hold a protest, which is being planned for this coming Sunday, Jan. 24 at 2 pm at the Gaithersburg City Hall (see shareable graphic here, and Facebook event here). There is a large outdoor area which will make social distancing very doable. You can also aid the family by donating to their GoFundMe page.
Tax the Rich in Maryland!
MARYLANDERS — the House of Delegates Ways and Means Committee started consideration this week of a set of bills that would create a millionaire’s tax, increase inheritance taxes and more, canceling the need to make cuts to make up for COVID-related budget shortfalls. Montgomery County DSA has put together an action alert to tell subcommittee members to tax the rich, not cut services and jobs for working people. Please send a letter and share!
Next steps on Endorsement for Karishma Mehta, VA-49
NOVA Branch will be forming a working group for comrades who’d like to get involved in NOVA electoral work – starting with Karishma’s campaign! Join us for an Interest Meeting on Jan. 28 at 7pm. Stay connected by joining the #karishma4va Slack channel and completing this interest form.
— Helena K (she/they) & Eric S (he/him), NOVA Branch Co-Chairs
Save USPS; sign this petition
The embattled US Postal Service, run by a Postmaster General who was and is Trump’s yes-man, needs new leadership. The American Postal Workers Union wants to see the four vacancies on the 11-member Postal Service Board of Governors filled by community-based folks, not corporate hacks and reckless cost-cutters. Here’s more information and a petition from APWU to fill those vacancies properly and begin returning USPS to a fully resourced pro-community and pro-worker organization.
Join the Defund MPD working group and Night School for political education events on policing and abolition
In the coming weeks, the Defund MPD working group is gearing up for a DC budget campaign by hosting a series of political education events on policing and abolition — open to all comrades and friends. Join us on Saturday, January 30th for a Walking Tour of DC’s Policing Landscape, a safe and socially distant walking tour in and around Judiciary Square to learn about the history and present of the policing landscape in DC. Then in February, get equipped and energized to bring the people you already know into the fight for abolition by joining Defund MPD and Night School for a four-part training series on relational organizing for abolition — register your interest here and we’ll be in touch about details and scheduling.
Biden moves to oust top Labor Board attorney Peter Robb
The Biden administration yesterday asked for the resignation of the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel, Trump-appointee Peter Robb, according to four people familiar with the decision. The White House notified Robb of its decision by letter, which specified he had until 5pm Wednesday to voluntarily resign or be fired, two people with knowledge of the correspondence said. His term is slated to last until this coming November, but unions, including the Service Employees International Union and Communications Workers of America, have been urging Biden to break with precedent by forcing him out immediately, in order to begin reorienting the agency toward protecting workers. Read more here. And the follow-up: Biden fires Trump-appointed labor board general counsel who refused to resign
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Saturday, January 23
1 – 3pm | Launching PG County DSA Ecosocialist/GND Working Group
Get an overview about what ecosocialism is and what action could look like for our branch — statewide and county level. Register at the link.
Sunday, January 24
2 – 4pm | Socialist Feminist Reading Group
2:30 – 4pm | Environmental Racism in DC — What Is Energy Democracy?
This is part one of a four-part reading group on environmental racism in DC. In this first discussion, our readings will focus on the principles of energy democracy, Pepco’s legacy of pollution and a high-level overview of the environmental issues facing DC residents.
7 – 8pm | Critical Whiteness: Reading Ian Haney López’ White by Law
Examining how racial categorization became instrumental in defining who is and is not a citizen and analyzing how whiteness continues to shape our understanding of citizenship and belonging.
7 – 8pm | NoVA DSA Branch Office Hours
This is an open meeting for people to talk with our comrades and ask/talk about anything on their minds. Register to get Zoom link.
Wednesday, January 27
5 – 6pm | NoVA Tenant Organizing Planning Meeting
7 – 8pm | Workplace Organizing Workshop
Join the Metro DC DSA Labor Working Group for our new monthly Workplace Organizing Workshop! If you are thinking about organizing your workplace, have started already (whether with a union or not) or just want to learn more about how to do it, come on out!
7 – 9pm | Prince George’s Branch MDC DSA General Meeting
Organizing on issues for Prince George’s and Maryland in our GBM. Members and interested progressives are welcome!
8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA / New Member Orientation
New to DSA? Haven’t joined yet? Recently joined? Find out how you can get involved with us in building a brighter socialist future!
Thursday, January 28
Saturday, January 30
1 – 2:30pm | Walking Tour of DC’s Policing Landscape | Defund MPD Working Group
Want to learn more about the organizations that police DC? Put on your walking shoes and join the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America’s Defund MPD Workgroup for a socially distant downtown DC walking tour! We’ll visit sites related to policing in downtown DC and hear information and original research provided from volunteer tour guides.
1 – 4:00pm | NoVA Anti-Eviction Canvass
The NoVa Branch Tenant Organizing Working Group will be canvassing tenants who have received eviction court summons of their rights and to provide loss-of-income affidavits that they can present in court to receive a 60-day extension of the court hearing.
Sunday, January 31
5 – 6pm | MDC DSA M4A Working Group
Monday, February 1
Wednesday, February 3
7 – 9pm | Prince George’s DSA Branch Steering Committee Meeting
Open to members and non-members. Register at link.
Thursday, February 4
Weekly or regularly recurring MDC DSA events:
Thursdays, 7 – 9pm | Grrlz Night/Happy Hour
A 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. Nonmembers welcome; access at link
Wednesdays – NoVA Tenant Organizing Planning Meeting – 5 to 6pm (new time!!)
Wednesdays – New Member Orientation – 8 to 9pm
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.
Saturdays – NoVA Tenant Organizing canvass on Saturday January 30th – 1 PM
Sundays – Medicare 4 ALL (#M4A) Workgroup – 5 to 6pm
To stay current with MDC DSA events between Updates, check the chapter calendar. Branches may have separate calendars and schedules.
NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS
Saturday, January 23 | 4pm EST
48 Years of Roe v Wade: No Reproductive Freedom without Medicare for All
January marks 48 years since Roe v Wade legalized abortion in all 50 states, and reproductive rights and abortion access has only gotten worse, with states attempting to ban abortion and closing down hundreds of clinics over the last decade. Not only has abortion access been eroded, but reproductive oppression like forced sterilization of immigrants …
Sunday, January 24 | 8pm EST
The First 100 Days of Socialism
Join us to discuss what the first 100 days of a socialist government might look like, and to hear from leaders from various national DSA committees on their visions for a socialist future. RSVP here.
Saturday, January 30 | 4 – 6pm EST
Socialist Feminist Day School Session One
The Socialist Feminist Working Group of the Democratic Socialists of America invites you to the first session of an eight-week Day School. Our first session will provide an introduction to socialist feminist thinking and organizing.
Sunday, January 31 | 3 – 4:30pm EST
Talking Union, Talking Queer: DSA National Queer Socialists Working Group January Meeting
QSWG’s monthly meeting will be held on Sunday January 31 from 3 – 4:30pm EST. You can also join the working group here.
National DSA’s International Committee
Several of our local comrades who are engaged with national DSA’s International Committee recommend a look at its latest quarterly newsletter — the IC has many subcommittees both geographical and thematic.
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV
Monday, January 25 | 5 – 6pm
Progressive Maryland Statewide Environmental Justice Task Force Meeting
Marylanders who are disproportionately impacted by climate change and are bearing the brunt of environmental racism must be made safe and free from toxins and environmental hazards like landfills and trash incinerators. If you care about bringing justice to our communities while benefiting the planet then please join us. See PM’s Weekly Memo here.
Thursday, February 11 | 6 – 8pm
DC WFP Community Reunion: Restore The Vote & Letter Writing
Community reunions are a monthly gathering of the WFP community, including members, activists, party builders, party organizers, and staff. It’s a place and time for all of our political party community to return home each month and to reunite, recalibrate and to recenter ourselves in why we live lives that are dedicated to struggling for justice for the people and the planet.
Publications Schedule — The February issue of the Washington Socialist newsletter will be sent Friday, January 29. The deadline for articles is tomorrow — Saturday, January 23. Send submissions to email@example.com. Updates in February will be sent Fridays, February 5, 12 and 19, and the March issue is scheduled for Friday, January 26 with an article deadline of January 20.
Have you ever wondered how our chapter is structured? What the difference is between a caucus and a working group? What does the so-called Steering Committee *do* anyway? Check out this beautiful chart based on our new bylaws, made by our skilled collaborators from our Admin Committee and our Design Working Group.
–Kurtis H, Steering at-large
Novelist and essayist Fintan O’Toole makes the case in The Guardian for a moral, even literary, perspective on what Biden is facing and how his own history — “his private self, shadowed by loss” — is more important to the inquiry than his political history.
In The Conversation, a researcher confirms most people’s anecdotal impression about the Capitol invasion of warlord wannabes — “a lot of angry men who don’t like women.”
Another in an increasing number of op-eds arguing that good legislating can sidestep or stymie a conservative SCOTUS.
Waleed Shahid of Justice Democrats asks what kind of room progressives and socialists can find to move our agenda in Biden World: “The most transformative presidents in American history never fully embraced the social movements of their time. Instead they seized the political space created by those movements. Lincoln was not an abolitionist, Franklin Roosevelt was not a socialist or trade unionist, and Lyndon Johnson was not a civil rights activist. It was the relentless struggle in the streets and at the ballot box, as well as the efforts of unapologetic dissenters in the halls of Congress, that shaped these presidencies. ‘You’ve convinced me. Now go out and make me do it,’ Roosevelt allegedly told the legendary activist and organizer A. Philip Randolph as the latter pushed FDR for labor and civil rights reforms.” As we recall, he did, culminating in the 1963 March.
Alicia Garza’s new book is reviewed by our comrade Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor in The New Yorker. Yes, The New Yorker. “Garza’s account of the consequences of Reaganism makes clear that the Black Lives Matter generation came of age in the rubble of the civil-rights era, with the retrenching politics and policies rooted in Reaganism but readily inherited by a Democratic Party all too willing to do the bidding of the right.”
Bernie’s opening shot from his perch as Budget Committee chair, from The Guardian via Portside: “Joe Biden Must Put an End to Business as Usual. Here’s Where to Start”
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.