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February 26, 2021
- Priority Campaign Update — MDC DSA February ballot results
- Green New Deal campaign meeting — Saturday at 5pm
- DSA for Karishma — candidate for VA House of Delegates
Results of Metro DC February Ballot
In accordance with Metro DC DSA bylaws, the chapter voted to approve the FY 2021 budget and chapter priority campaigns, both of which will be in effect through the December 2021 local convention.
The proposed chapter budget provides a framework for spending and setting money aside for recurring expenses and priorities for the year. Priority campaigns (see Section 6.3 of the chapter bylaws) are eligible to receive access to additional funding, communications and mobilization.
Receiving 331 votes in favor, 4 against and 46 abstentions, the FY 2021 Chapter Budget passed.
For priority campaigns, Stomp Out Slumlords received 298 votes, Labor received 290, Green New Deal received 275, Defund MPD received 269. Having met the two-thirds threshold, these campaigns passed. Medicare for All, having received 250, did not meet the threshold and was not approved as a priority campaign.
Thank you to everyone who voted and participated, and to all the comrades who worked on proposals.
Green New Deal campaign meeting — Saturday at 1pm
With the priority process concluded, this meeting will lay out ongoing planned organizing around advancement of a green new deal. Join us to plug into:
- We Power DC, following up on the launch of the Energy Justice campaign this past Tuesday (which hosted almost 100 attendees!)
- Advancement of the PRO Act, in collaboration with the Labor working group
- Political education and internal organizing, building our shared understanding of how to win a GND and organizing the DSA to achieve it.
New members, as always, welcome. RSVP for link!
And keep on the look-out for We Power DC’s next event on Thursday, March 11: Power Grid 101: Electricity and the Green New Deal.
Virginia electoral updates
Last week, members joined Karishma Mehta, locally endorsed candidate for VA-49’s House of Delegates, as part of a nationwide rally in support of Bessemer, Al who are fighting to form a union in the face of endless underhanded tactics.
Support for Karishma continues this weekend Here’s how you can get involved:
- canvassing resumes this Saturday, February 27th with shifts from 11 AM to 2PM (please note that the 2 PM canvass is a bilingual, Spanish-speaking canvass)
- canvassing will continue on Sunday, February 28th starting at 11 AM
- a phonebanking on Sunday at 2 PM.
Join us to fight for the working class in Virginia’s 49th!
MARCH 2021 WASHINGTON SOCIALIST
The Washington Socialist is our monthly publication, corralling articles, content and opinions that might help local lefties navigate the ever shifting political configurations at both the national and local level. Here’s what we’ve got this month:
- “Breaking Bad: Obsession with an independent workers’ party hurts the socialist electoral project” reprints a strong argument against ballot-line socialism that made its round in national DSA circles just last month
- “The Liberal-to-Ultraleft Pipepline: breaking the cycle” argues against the sort of aesthetic partisanship exuded by some national lefty media figures that prevents the working class from organizing itself into a disciplined political regime.
- “A Left That Matters?” critically responds to a Jacobin article that made its round last month (see GOOD READS), reminding that the advancement of many issues imperative to socialists in recent years occured outside the Democratic Party.
- “Carry me back to New Virginny” looks to the strong performance of Democrats in Virginia and finds hope in the capacity for conservative morasses to evolve into something better.
- “Having a ‘cabal’ with oppositional politics” emphasizes the need for the left to stop falling into the trap of opposition-based political alliances.
- “As fascism intensifies, socialists must consider security” outlines some of the information-security protocols used by the local DSA while stressing the need to think seriously about security.
- “What Is Socialism? A (very) brief answer” reminds us what, exactly, that alternative to the capitalism everyone keeps talking about is.
- “Capitalist Decay and Digital Worlds” provides an annotated discussion with two filmmakers whose new series showcased the virtual worlds that have provided an escape from the banality and alienation of capitalism.
- “500,000: COVID by the Numbers” attempts to put our run-in pandemic induced mass death into context.
- “Democracy and Microgrids” emphasizes the need for the progressive left to consider the management and ownership structure of our energy systems.
Spring 2021 “Capital in the Capitol Reading Group”
Are you interested in reading Marx’s Capital Vol. 1 with a group of comrades in the DMV? If so, sign up here before March 8th! The reading group will meet weekly or every other week from ~late March through ~mid-July, reading through Capital as a group using sources available for free on the internet. People of all experience and knowledge levels are welcome and encouraged to join! For more information, view the sign up form here.
Louis DeJoy told a House hearing Wednesday he planned to be around awhile as Postmaster General, swinging the wrecking ball at the nation’s oldest civil agency. “Get used to me,” he told a House oversight panel. But Politico Playbook reported later that afternoon that Biden has proposed three new — and diverse — members of the Postal Service Board of Governors to vacant spots on the nine-member board, giving that body — which hires and fires Postmasters General — a non-DeJoy majority. Here’s the NYT account provided Thursday.
DC Councilmember Janeese Lewis George releases assessment of DC FY 2022 Budget
As DC gears up to debate budget priorities for FY2022, local activists are beginning to draw up their battle plans and corralling their allies in anticipation of fighting corporate interests in the city.
Councilmember and DSA member Janeese Lewis George released her statement on the budget — a good primer for those interesting in noting the leylines that will surely engulf much of the local left in the budget battles to come.
Helping push MoCo DSA’s tax bill through the MD Assembly:
Marylanders! MoCo DSA’s bill ending tax breaks for country clubs (Maryland has WHAT?) is sponsored by Del. Gabe Acevero and in committee in the Assembly session now. Dels.
Anne Kaiser (MoCo Dist. 14) and Alonzo Washington (PG County Dist. 22) can move it out of the committee that they chair; tell them about this wonderful opportunity with this petition (link here for Del. Washington and here for Del. Kaiser) created by our own MoCo comrades, particularly if you live in either of these districts.
DC Vaccine Distribution outreach sign-up
Our Medicare 4 All Working Group is launching a phone campaign and door-to-door knocking and literature distribution drive in order to boost vaccine awareness. We will be focusing outreach to seniors who may want the vaccine but do not have reliable access to the internet or information to access it. If you’d like to volunteer, please follow this sign-up if you’re interested in getting involved. Training will be provided.
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Saturday, February 27
4 – 5pm | MoCo DSA Member Orientation
MoCo DSA’s outreach event which provides information on what projects are being worked on, and some general information about Montgomery County. Open to all DSA members!
2 – 3:30pm | Socialist Feminist Reading Group
Wednesday, March 1
7 – 8:30pm | Labor WG Speaker Series
Organizing at nonprofits, with reps from Nonprofit Professional Employees Union. Register at link.
7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Office Hours
Open chat and Q&A for NoVA Branch members new and long-serving! Register at link.
Wednesday, March 3
7 – 9pm | PG Co. DSA Steering Committee Meeting
Thursday, March 4
7 – 9pm | Medicare for All Discussion Group
We will review video of the March 13, 2019 introduction of the Medicare for All Act in the House of Representatives and subsequent hearings in the Rules Committee and Ways & Means Committee. This discussion will help us prepare for the reintroduction of the bill as the Medicare for All Act of 2021 later this month.
7 – 9pm | Grrrls* Night/Happy Hour
Sunday, March 7
2 – 4:30pm | MoCo branch DSA March general meeting
Wednesday, March 17
7 – 9pm | Prince George’s branch DSA monthly general body meeting
Political education: guest is Bill Fletcher Jr.
Saturday, March 20
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Book Club
Reading Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. More info and access suggestions at link.
Regularly recurring MDC DSA events
Thursdays, 7 – 9pm — MONTHLY | 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, 5 – 6pm (new time!!) | NoVA Tenant Organizing Planning Meeting
Next meeting (March 3rd) will have the usual round of updates on our tenant organizing efforts and then switch to a corporate research training to start digging dirt on the slumlords of NoVA!
Wednesdays, 8 – 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.
Saturdays, 1pm | NoVA Anti-Eviction Canvass
Join the NoVA Tenant Organizing Group on their next anti-eviction canvass in Alexandria on Saturday, March 6th!
Sundays, 5 – 6pm | Medicare 4 ALL (#M4A) Workgroup
The Medicare for All Working Group is organizing a vaccine distribution outreach campaign and also working to pass a resolution endorsing M4A in the DC Council. Come join us to find out more!
NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS
Monday, March 1
8pm EST | Workers & the Green New Deal
Are you organizing for green jobs? Have you talked with your coworkers about climate change? Are you a union member, or are you looking for a community with which to strategize about organizing for climate justice? Join us for strategy and inspiration. More at link.
Tuesday, March 9
8:30pm EST | Socialist School of Economics w/ Hadas Thier
Since the Great Recession, more and more working people have realized that the capitalist economy doesn’t work for them, but mainstream economics makes it hard for most of us to understand exactly why. Join author Hadas Thier, author of A People’s Guide to Capitalism, and the National Political Education Committee … More at link.
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV
TODAY, Friday, February 26
Notimex workers have been on strike for one year: they are defending their jobs, working conditions and quality journalism in the face of management interference and union-busting. Webinar with worker panel. US sponsorship-support from National Writers Union. Register Here.
Sunday, February 28
2 – 4pm | The Art of Activism: Poster Making and Art Builds — Online Class
Good art is the key to a successful protest. In this free class, we will review how different kinds of visual art have contributed towards activism throughout history and discuss foundational knowledge for practical art building skills. This includes how to do wheatpasting, banner drops, puppet building, etc. followed by creating our own posters together for the cause of your choosing. At the end of the class, we will discuss how to organize an art build in your community for causes that you care about.
Publications Schedule: March Updates appear Fridays, March 5, 12, 19 and 26 and the April issue (no foolin’) of the Washington Socialist appears Friday, April 2. The deadline for articles is Saturday, March 27.
What actually goes on in MDC DSA? Places to find out are in our Slack channels (not on Slack? Email email@example.com); on our MDC DSA website; or in the Washington Socialist. But, um, all these committees, working groups, caucuses, branches? Yep, here is the encyclopaedic explainer for all those names we keep dropping.
From Organizing Upgrade, an encyclopaedic overview of different formations that can be the vectors for organizing, from unions to alt-labor to “edge organizations … not necessarily built to last” but dedicated to campaigns that meet the moment, including direct action.
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.