March 5, 2021

Santa makes a last minute appearance on Capitol Hill, intercepting white supremacy in DC, and Virginia electoral organizing.

March 5, 2021



  • SUNDAY — Workers and the World, Unite! DSA for PRO Act Campaign Launch Call
  • THURSDAY — what the Green New Deal means for DC
  • Updates from MDC DSA’s Steering Committee

Workers and the World, Unite! DSA for PRO Act Campaign Launch Call — Sunday, March 7

In the 20th century, major gains for the working class in the original New Deal were achieved through militant labor organizing. Rebuilding this capacity is crucial to winning the world we want. No matter who’s running the government, only a radicalized and organized working class can win transformative reforms that can make the 21st century livable for all.

To solve our climate and economic crises, we need a Green New Deal.
To win a Green New Deal, we need mass worker power.
To build mass worker power, we need to pass the PRO Act.

That’s why, in the first 100 days of the Biden administration, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are launching a national campaign to pass the PRO Act, which would strengthen unions, the power of the working class to organize on the job, and our collective capacity to win a just transition to a green economy for all in the years ahead.

Join us for a campaign launch call on Sunday, March 7 with special guests Naomi Klein, AFA President Sara Nelson, Jamaal Bowman, and more! You can RSVP here.

Green New Deal and DC’s Electric Grid — Thursday, March 11

The mass electricity blackouts in Texas show that our profit-driven energy system is driving us toward planetary disaster. Since then, there’s been a lot of talk about arcane technical topics such as how electricity grids work, regional transmission organizations, and climate resilience.

If you feel lost when thinking about these topics, have questions, or want to learn more, we have a presentation for you. This Thursday, join MDC DSA’s Ecosocialists for an interactive discussion on DC’s electricity system and how it relates to our local search for climate justice and a Green New Deal.

The event will feature presentations by Vijay P and Zach E — PhD scientists and climate justice advocates, and be followed by a moderated discussion based on audience questions.

Everyone is welcome! This presentation is free and open to the public — and if there is anything that you need to be able to fully participate (for example, ASL interpretation or translation) please email wepowerdc@gmail.comRSVP here. 

Updates from the MDC DSA Steering Committee

The MDC DSA Steering Committee, the chapter’s elected body, recently met to discuss and vote on a range of important topics. Here are some recent highlights: 

  • Steering passed this proposal for HGO selection and review.

  • Steering chartered a Branch Commission to investigate our current chapter structure. Application for the commission is here and the deadline to apply is March 12th. The committee is looking for a variety of geographic perspectives and comrades living in the District of Columbia are encouraged to apply.

  • The Treasurer provided this financial report.

  • Two branch delegates have been added to the Steering Committee: Alex L, repping Montgomery County and Tom B, repping PG County.

  • In case you missed it, the General Body of MDC DSA approved four priority campaigns as follows: LaborGreen New DealStomp Out Slumlords; and Defund MPD


MDC DSA messaging app survey

The Administrative Committee is researching messaging platforms to support chapter organizing, and we need your help to learn what to look for. Please take a moment to tell us about your messaging needs by answering these questions.

DSA continues mobilization for Karishma Mehta in VA-49

We’ve got the usual round of canvasses and phonebanking this weekend — now featuring sunny weather and no ice storms! There will be canvassing on Saturday, March 6th with shifts at 11am and 2pm (please note that the 2pm is a bilingual Spanish-speaking canvass) as well as Sunday, March 7th at 11am. There will also be phonebanking on Sunday at 2pm. Join us to fight for the working class in Virginia’s 49th!

Join the fight against tax breaks for the rich in Maryland!

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.

Join us to watch the committee hearing for this bill together on Tuesday, March 9. We’ll cheer along as MoCo DSA members testify in support of the bill and boo as representatives of the country clubs try to justify this absurd tax loophole. The Committee hearing starts at 1:30 pm, the exact timing of when the committee will consider this bill is TBA. RSVP to this event and we’ll send you the details as soon as we know.


Steering Committee Makes Appointments to the Chapter’s Political Engagement Committee

This past week, the Steering Committee finalized its appointments to the chapter’s newly formed Political Engagement Committee (PEC): Stu K, Chair (Steering member, DC resident); Irene K (Steering member, DC resident); Paola S (Steering member, DC resident); Nicole Z (non-Steering member, MD resident); and Brad C (non-Steering member, VA resident)

Chapter members voted to create the five-member PEC as part of updates to our chapter’s bylaws at the chapter convention last December. The primary purpose of the PEC is to coordinate chapter processes and recommendations related to chapter endorsements of electoral candidates.

For more information about the PEC generally, along with guidance on PEC appointment rules, check out the PEC interest form and explainer document that the Steering Committee approved and published in January.

DC residents — take action on the Council’s consideration of the Comprehensive Plan!

The DC Council is expected to take up the Comprehensive Plan very soon! Councilmembers are now sharing their priorities and suggested amendments with Chairman Mendelson, who is likely to release his draft of the Comp Plan legislation a couple of days prior to the mark-up (the mark-up may happen as early as March 16 or by the end of March).

The DC Grassroots Planning Coalition (DCGPC), which MDCDSA is a partner in, wants to ensure true equity and planning are incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan. DC residents should follow this link and send a quick email to your councilmember urging them to oppose the Mayor’s changes to the land use map and to support the DC Grassroots Planning Coalition Housing Justice Priorities. You can read more about these priorities at EmowerDC’s website, or check out this video explainer on the Comp Plan’s underlying racism.


Socialists on the Job: A Cross-Generation Conversation — Wednesday, March 10

In the 1970s, many left organizations encouraged their members to get traditional (however they chose to define that) working-class jobs. They hoped to play a part in amping up class struggle, leading fights against bosses and replacing bureaucratic union leaders. They also hoped to recruit workers to socialist politics and to transform groups rooted in the student movement into groups rooted in the working class. As a result, a few thousand former student radicals got jobs as miners, auto workers, steel workers, truck drivers, railroad workers and phone company technicians. Others took the same class-struggle outlook with them as they became public employees, such as teachers, social workers or public transit workers.

Join the Democratic Socialist Labor Commission for a discussion with a few who participated in that process as they discuss their experiences, what they learned from them, how their groups were affected and what lessons there might be for a new generation of radicals looking for ways to make their jobs places where they can fight for democracy, workers’ power and socialism. RSVP here.


Socialist Feminist reading group selects March discussions (Saturday, March 27 at 2pm)

On Saturday, March 27th we’ll read (1) “Aren’t socialism and feminism sometimes in conflict?” by Nicole Aschoff and (2) “Until Black Women Are Free, None of Us Will Be Free” by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. See details, links to essays and RSVP here. We ask that men do not participate at this time.

Internationalism WG — Solidarity with Myanmar coup resisters

Mass strikes are placing pressure on the Myanmar’s military regime, and solidarity is needed with the All Burma Federation of Trade Unions Strike Fund. Sustaining these work stoppages is crucial, and we can directly help achieve that end by sending money right away. Please give what you can and share the link widely: Support Civil Disobedience Movement Strike Fund, organized by All Burma Federation Of Trade Unions


Share a Seed Project Reconnects the People to the Land and One Another

Share a Seed is the project of Metro DSA chapter member Reana Kovalcik and Slow Food USA. The project was inspired by Kovalcik’s increased work with local mutual aid organizations and the recognition that these small but powerful people-centric groups could do big things.

Share a Seed circumvents the capitalist supply chain and returns to the communal roots of growing. The project asks growers across the country to “share their spares” (seeds), their knowledge and their love of growing. Slow Food DC is partnering with FRESHFARMKyanite Kitchen (a Black-led mutual aid org) and hopefully many others in mutual aid and urban garden circles.

Please help spread the word and sign up to share your spares!


To stay current with MDC DSA events between Updates, check the chapter calendar. Branches may have separate calendars and schedules.

Saturday, March 6

7 – 8:45pm | AfroSoc Book Club – Critical Whiteness: Reading White by Law

In this last meeting we’ll be discussing chapters 7 & 8 in which López lays out what the future of whiteness and the shifting of US racial demographics and what this will mean for citizenship in the future.

7:30 – 9pm | Prince George’s DSA’s labor working group Meeting
Amazon workers are challenging the company on multiple fronts — find out what is happening in our own state. Prince George’s DSA labor working is sponsoring a meeting with activists in Amazonians United on Saturday, March 6 at 7:30pm.

Sunday, March 7

2 – 4:30pm | MoCo branch DSA March general body meeting
Join us this Sunday for our monthly branch meeting. We discuss the worst jobs we’ve had, hear from the Chapter Labor Working Group about socialists and the labor movements and get an update on our tax justice efforts.

Monday, March 8

6 – 8pm | Queer Caucus Happy Hour
Monthly Happy Hour, for all Queer, Trans and Nonbinary comrades, plus allies. Testing out a themed happy hour and since St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, this month’s theme is: GREEN. Wear something green — if you wish — and we will also discuss the Green New Deal from a Queer perspective and what it could do for the LGBTQIA+2s community. Public event, DSA membership NOT required.

Thursday, March 11

6pm | Power Grid 101: Electricity and the Green New Deal

7 – 8:30pm | Relational Organizing For Abolition: Session 4
Join comrades from Night School and the Defund MPD working group for the fourth and final session of this training series.

Sunday, March 14

3 – 5pm | General Body Meeting

Wednesday, March 17

7 – 8:30pm NoVA Executive Meeting

7 – 9pm | Prince George’s branch DSA monthly general body meeting
Political education: speaker 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.

Thursday, March 25

7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting

Saturday, March 27

2 – 3:30pm | Socialist Feminist Reading Group


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
The NoVA Tenant Organizers meet weekly to give updates, discuss strategy and prepare for upcoming canvasses.

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!


Sunday, March 7

5pm EST | Workers and the World, Unite! DSA for PRO Act Campaign Launch Call w/ Naomi Klein, Sara Nelson & more
In the 20th century, major gains for the working class in the original New Deal were achieved through militant labor organizing. Rebuilding this capacity is crucial to winning the world we want. No matter who’s running the government, only a radicalized and organized working class can win transformative reforms that can make the 21st century … 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.

Wednesday, March 10

8pm EST | Socialists on the Job: A Cross-Generation Conversation
In the 1970s, many left organizations encouraged their members to get traditional (however they chose to define that) working-class jobs. They hoped to play a part in amping up class struggle, leading fights against bosses, and replacing bureaucratic union leaders. They also hoped to recruit workers to socialist politics and to transform groups rooted in … More at link.



Saturday, March 6

7 – 8pm | Virginia Political Cooperative Monthly Meeting — Come and learn!
Progressives in Virginia are organizing to build a statewide political co-op to act as a shared services provider for progressive candidates, recruiting and training working-class candidates and a pool of shared volunteers to support them. Join us for our monthly meeting to learn about what we’ve accomplished so far, and how you can join us in electing a government that serves ALL Virginians. Sign up here for Saturday’s meeting!

Monday, March 8

1pm | SPACEs In Action: International Women’s Day Action
National Mall on 4th Street and Madison Drive
We need to make sure our elected officials hear that we need sustained federal investment to save child care. That means we need the full $40 billion and a commitment to keep investing in our communities, to sustain the child care sector and reinforce the critical role child care providers play in the nation’s ability to recover from the pandemic.

Sunday, March 21

2pm – 3pm | Conversation on “Public Health and Climate Change”
Panelists include: Dr. Neelu Tummala, Steering Committee, VA Clinicians for Climate Action; Karen Campblin, President, Fairfax County NAACP; and Pieter Sheehan, Dir. Division of Environmental Health, Fairfax County Health Department. This webinar is sponsored by the Climate Action Group or the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax. For further information: Jean Wright, Join the Zoom meeting here.


Publications Schedule: March Updates appear Fridays, March 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; on our MDC DSA website; or in the Washington SocialistBut, um, all these committees, working groups, caucuses, branches? Yep, here is the encyclopaedic explainer for all those names we keep dropping.


Tapping the US national security apparatus to analyze and address climate change could be vital in adding resources to the fight against carbon — but how about the mindset of those who will be spending national security money? “When all you’ve got is a hammer” etc. Could Biden’s Climate Policy Invite More Militarism? is from Portside and Foreign Policy in Focus and written by our local comrade Ashik S.

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.
Michael E. Mann, climate scientist who has been attacked by deniers for decades, tells The Guardian how the latest skirmishes in the Climate War are playing out, and who are the perps. “Any time you are told a problem is your fault because you are not behaving responsibly, there is a good chance that you are being deflected from systemic solutions and policies…good people fall victim to doomism. I do too sometimes… [however] if the science objectively demonstrated it was too late to limit warming below catastrophic levels, that would be one thing and we scientists would be faithful to that. But science doesn’t say that.”
Dean Baker in the DCReport, asking how the young folks of the future will be informed that they have a crushing debt burden. Well, they won’t. Have a crushing debt burden, that is. Nevertheless the think tank alarmists will spew about it and the MSM will obediently act as stenographers. Too bad.
Sure, I’d like to defund the police, but how? Check out this new resource, which makes some excellent tools for activists looking to build arguments or assess policy related to defunding police.
The NYT outlines the Biden-Harris roadmap to dodging Medicare for All: “At Last, Democrats Get Chance to Engineer Obamacare 2.0” Will this be the battlefield?
A confederation of anarchist collectives detailed a breakdown in a post on Medium. Useful guidance on how allied groups on the left operate — and in looking over this collapse, we may take note to shore-up deficiencies in our own outfit.
The Ink interviews Sen. Elizabeth Warren, v. wide-ranging. “Markets without rules are theft,” she says. “And so confusing markets without rules, markets that are not real competitive markets, with what passes for capitalism in many parts of the world today is missing the central element. … So what’s your alternative to a market-based system? A system in which the government decides the allocation of goods and services? Because the problem you run into there is that the same bigotry and prejudice and lust for power that can infect a capitalist system can infect any other system as well. [lacking rules], replacing the market part of the system is not going to help.”
A good example of the maxim (attributed to S. Colbert) that facts have a liberal bias. The more details in a scrupulously bend-over-backward-to-be-fair piece of journalism, the more it leans our way. “The Pandemic’s Existential Threat to Black-Owned Businesses” from ProPublica.
Voter suppression efforts in Georgia backed by corporate cash — an in-depth analysis published by the blog Popular Info. The excellent report covers the often contradictory campaigns pursued by corporate behemoths in Georgia: “[one] Sprite ad encourages voters to “VOTE EARLY” or “VOTE BY MAIL” — two options that would be significantly more difficult under the bills advancing in the Georgia legislature. Yet, since 2018, Coca-Cola has donated $34,750 to the sponsors of both pieces of legislation to restrict voting.”
From East of the River magazine: The “Radical and Rowdy” Commissioner from Deanwood, Anthony Lorenzo Green, “is willing to fight for what the community needs.” A good review of a prominent local lefty..

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