March 12, 2021

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

MARCH 12, 2021

Weekly Update



  • SUNDAY 3PM — Metro DC DSA General Body Meeting
  • Political Engagement Committee seeks chapter input on electoral decisions
  • THURSDAY — virtual teach-in and call to action on detention and deportation

Sunday March 14 at 3 PM — Metro DC DSA General Body Meeting!

Our general body meetings convene all chapter members once monthly. Workgroups, caucuses, committees, and leadership provide key updates on campaigns and other activities. Workgroups, caucuses, committees, and leadership provide key updates on campaigns and other activities. The General Body Meetings are a great place to get to know chapter members and get plugged into ongoing chapter campaigns.

You can register and RSVP for the GBM here. Meetings are open to DSA members and supporters.

PEC Annex — Political Engagement Committee seeks chapter member input to Metro DC DSA electoral endorsement process

Last week, the Steering Committee finalized its appointments to the chapter’s newly formed five-member Political Engagement Committee (PEC). The voting members appointed to the PEC are below: 

  • 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)
  • Brad C (non-Steering member, VA resident) 

According to our updated bylaws, the primary purpose of the PEC is to coordinate chapter processes and recommendations related to chapter endorsements of electoral candidates. 

As such, the PEC is now moving to meet three objectives before the current PEC term ends in late May. These three objectives for the PEC are below: 

  1. Updating the chapter’s electoral endorsement questionnaire; 
  2. Developing a clearer procedure for the chapter’s electoral endorsements; and 
  3. Drafting criteria by which PEC members will recommend or not recommend that chapter members vote to endorse an electoral candidate. 

Are you interested in contributing to one of the PEC’s three objectives? If so, then fill out this form! A member of the PEC will be in touch with you after filling out the form with more details on how to get involved. 

The PEC will need input from a broad array of chapter members to deliver on these three objectives by late May. Together, we can lay the groundwork to ensure that the electoral endorsement process in our chapter will be transparent, accessible, and democratic for years to come. 

Thursday March 18 at 6pm — Bring Them Home: Anti-Blackness, Detention and Deportation

NoVA DSA is excited to co-host a virtual teach-in and call to action on Thursday, March 18 from 6 – 8pm on Anti-Blackness, Detention and Deportation.

Join NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, LaColectiVA, Sanctuary DMV, Free Them All VA, DC IWOC, NoVA DSA and others for a night of political education and action to dismantle the deportation and detention machine. We’ll learn about the racist origins of the deportation machine and how it led to the deportation of Jean Montrevil, a Black immigrant rights activist who was abruptly deported to Haiti in 2018 for 30-year-old Virginia drug convictions, and how we can fight back through the campaign to bring him home. We’ll also learn about how anti-Blackness led to the rise of immigration detention in the US and what we can do today to shut down ICA-Farmville. 

Join us as we turn education into action and fight back against this racist system! RSVP here.


Saturday March 13th at 4PM — emergency protest in support of Lumad community in the Philippines

On February 15, 42 individuals were arrested by armed forces in the Philippines. Lumad communities have been targeted by the state because of their determined resistance to multinational corporations and Armed Forces of the Philippines. The arrests are part of 

Members of Metro DC DSA will be joining an emergency protest at the Philippine Embassy (1600 Mass Ave) at 4pm Saturday to show solidarity with the Indigenous communities resisting aggression. More info can be found here, and you can read about what’s happening in the Phillippines here.

Elected DSA member Del. Gabriel Acevero leads push for police reform in Maryland

Metro DC DSA Member Del. Gabriel Acevero went against House of Delegates leadership and attempted to strengthen House Speaker Adrienne Jones’ House Police Reform and Accountability Act. Acevero’s amendments would have given civilian control to community police oversight boards, removed School Resources Officers from public schools, ended qualified immunity for police officers and required a report from the state Attorney General on organized white supremacists in law enforcement.

The House rejected three of these amendments on a voice vote — meaning that there is no record of who voted against these amendments. In contrast, the House held recorded votes for amendment offered by Republicans. Only four Delegates voted for Acevero’s amendment to end the school resource officer program. 


DSA International Committee responds to Sec. Blinken’s meeting with right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaido

On March 2, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaidó and, illegitimately and against the wishes of the Venezuelan people, recognized him as interim president of Venezuela. The DSA International Committee released a statement blasting the unchanged practice of imperialist meddling in Venezuela’s internal affairs, calling it “the latest in a long history of feckless and illegal US interventions in the region, carried out with bipartisan consent.” Read more at the link.

DSA’s electoral campaign for Karishma continues this weekend

We’ve got the usual round of canvasses and phonebanking this weekend!  There will be canvassing on Saturday, March 13th with shifts at 10am and 2pm as well as Sunday, March 14th at 11am. There will also be phonebanking on Sunday at 2pm. Join us to fight for the working class in Virginia’s 49th!

Additionally, Karishma is currently seeking the endorsement of Democracy for America, and is looking for comrades to put in a word of support

DSA led Tax the Rich campaign continues in Maryland

MoCo DSA members testified in support of Del. Gabriel Acevero’s bill (H.B. 1120) to end property tax breaks for country clubs at a House of Delegates Ways and Means Committee this week. See coverage of the hearing in Maryland Matters here and read MoCo DSA’s written testimony here.

Now, the Ways and Means Committee must hold a vote to advance the bill out of committee. If you live in Montgomery County’s District 14 (Olney, Burtonsville, Damascus) or Prince George’s County District 22 (Greenbelt), click on their names to email committee leaders Dels. Anne Kaiser and Alonzo Washington to urge them to hold a vote for this bill. Email or message Nicole Z (she/her) on Slack if you’re a constituent who can meet with Dels. Kaiser or Washington to urge them to support this bill.

Building Labor Power in NoVA

As the DSA pushes to support the passage of the PRO (Protect the Right to Organize) Act, our Democratic Senator from Virginia, Mark Warner continues to oppose it. If we are to build mass worker power, we will need every possible win to strengthen labor unions and our ability to organize. The chapter Labor Working Group will be having their regular meeting on Tuesday March 16th at 7 PM.  There will be discussion during the meeting on how we can push Warner and support the passage of the PRO Act.

And an update on collective bargaining for public workers in Alexandria: the public hearing for the ordinance to establish rights for unions to bargain with the city was delayed after getting pressured from organized laborWe will be keeping folks up to date on when it will come back before the City Council so we can be there to give public sector workers in Alexandria the rights they need and deserve.

To support efforts like the above and keep up the fight against harmful measures like so-called Right to Work, the NoVA Branch DSA is establishing a NoVA Labor Working Group. This is a great way not only to build labor power in Virginia, but also build YOUR skills as a leader and socialist organizer! No knowledge of labor organizing, or politics is required. You will have the full support of the branch and DC Labor Working Group in guiding your success. If you are interested sign up using this form.


Defund MPD Working Group monthly meeting — Sunday, March 21

MDC DSA’s Defund MPD Working Group holds its monthly meeting on Sunday, March 21 from 6 – 7:30pm. Register here to join in organizing efforts to defund the police and start funding communities.

Socialists have taken control of the Democratic Party in Nevada — and here’s how you can help them entrench

Our DSA chapter in Nevada recently won key leadership elections in the Nevada Democratic Party, giving them effective control over the party and destabilized the “Reid Machine,” a corporate-backed network that has exerted control over Democratic politics in Nevada over the last decade.

The corporatists did not take the loss lightly. Following the DSA’s victory, the entire staff of the Nevada Democratic Party not only quit, but gave themselves and their network of consultants a final payout to boot. Insulting as it is, you can follow this link to direct financial support to the Nevada Democratic Party to help progressives build their own socialist machine in Nevada, and you can learn more about this new slate at their website.


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

The Share a Seed project asks growers across the country to “share their spares” (seeds), their knowledge and their love of growing in five cities across the country. 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. 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 to initiate this project.

Redistribute your seeds and/or gently used growing equipment by signing up online (and sending via mail) or connecting at one of Slow Food’s in-person collection events: Monroe St Farmers Market (716 Monroe St NE) – SAT; Mt Pleasant Farmers Market (Lamont Plaza) – SAT; Arlington (1400 N Courthouse Rd) – SAT; Dupont Farmers Market (Dupont Circle) -SUN.


Sunday, March 14

3 – 5pm | General Body Meeting

Monday, March 15

6:30 – 8:30pm | A New Deal Experiment in Social Housing | Socialist Night School
We explore one of the boldest housing experiments of the New Deal: Greenbelt, Maryland. A project of the New Deal Resettlement Administration and located within our very own Metro DC chapter, Greenbelt offers insights into federal housing policy, the rise of the suburbs, racial exclusion in housing and the New Deal, patriarchal family norms in federal policy, cooperative economics, and much more. Presented by Frank Santos Fritz. 

Tuesday, March 16 

7 – 8:30pm | MDC DSA Labor Working Group
Discuss strategies around the national launch of the PRO Act campaign in collaboration with the Green New Deal group.

Wednesday, March 17

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

Thursday, March 18

4 – 5:30pm | DC M4A Onboarding Training
The second in a series of monthly onboarding trainings for new activists in the fight for Medicare for All, created and presented by the M4A Working Group in coalition with SPACEs in Action and other local health justice organizations. For this session, we will be focusing on using power mapping to build a pressure campaign with guest speaker Benjamin Day.

7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Executive Meeting

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
Reading two online essays; readings and access at link.

Wednesday, March 31

7 – 8:30pm | Workplace Organizing Workshop
A monthly open space for those wishing to organize their workplace to learn more about the process, or get help in building up their own campaign! Connect with organizers for follow-up.

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. 

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.

Sundays, 5 – 6pm | Medicare 4 ALL Workgroup (#M4A on Slack)
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!


Here is the March Dispatch from national DSA With news from action central about events, leadership openings and more.

DSA’s highest national priority for the first 100 days of the new presidential administration is to pass the PRO Act (Protect the Right to Organize), 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. The PRO Act passed the House this week; do not let the momentum flag. If you missed Sunday’s Pro Act campaign launch, here’s the video.

To start organizing your chapter for the PRO Act, join us for a weekly skills training on outreach and action planning! You can register here to attend one or more of the sessions, which will be held weekly on Sundays.


Saturday, March 13

4pm/5pm – 7pm | Sing Her Song: A Sunset Vigil for Breonna Taylor
Palm Collective and Fuel The People DC
On the one-year anniversary of the murder of Breonna Taylor, we are gathering in community to honor her life and call for justice. The vigil is from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Malcolm X Park. Prior to the vigil, Streets Calling Bike Club and Saturday Night Bike Clubwill host a bike ride from the National Museum of African American History and Culture to the vigil. Please feel free to join the bike ride at 4:00 p.m. to ride to the vigil, or meet at Malcolm X Park for the vigil at 5:00 p.m. 

To donate to support the vigil, please Venmo Fuel the People or The Palm Collective at @fuelthepeople-DC or @thepalm.

Sunday, March 14 

3pm | US Exceptionalism: Its Story in Nicaragua and Beyond
Peace Action
Webinar with speakers: Brian Willson, Kathy Hoyt and Sofia Clark. Topics include the dogma of American exceptionalism — the fear and trickster psychology behind it — and American exceptionalism as an ideology to justify punitive sanctions on other nations.

Saturday, March 20 

11am – 1pm | ONE DC 2021 Virtual Annual Membership Meeting
The Annual Membership Meeting is a space for members to guide the vision of ONE DC. Agenda includes: election to board seats; 2020 review; discussion of membership and leadership; treasurer’s report.

Sunday, March 21 

2 – 3pm | Conversation on “Public Health and Climate Change”  
Climate Action Group, or Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax
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. For further information: Jean Wright, Join the Zoom meeting at link. 


Publications Schedule: March Updates appear Fridays, March 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. Start writing now; join the #publications Slack channel to see the state of play and issues folks are interested in; email to submit an article or discuss what you are writing. The Publications Working Group is what it sounds like: a workshop for socialist thought and action. 

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 Socialist. But, um, all these committees, working groups, caucuses, branches? Yep, here is the encyclopaedic explainer for all those names we keep dropping.


In Dissent, our very own Ashik Siddique explains why organizing for the PRO Act needs to be the climate justice movement’s first priority. Read his article and join the #pro-act Slack channel or email to get involved.

Touted by our comrade Dave R: “Rather than asking whether or not Judas and the Black Messiah fulfilled our desire for what a film about Fred Hampton should look like, we should begin with another sort of question: What can we do to make the most of this opportunity?” From Counterpunch via Portside.

Our comrade Michele R gave this one an FB ride: “Regardless of whether individuals can live the good life in one sort of place, does it scale up? Can we, collectively, live the good life if we build miles upon miles of such places? In other words, the question we really need to be asking is, ‘What are the consequences of our development pattern?’” 

And some context: In the case of the automobile-centric form of growth that took over North America after World War II, there are clear answers that have little to do with cultural or lifestyle preferences. Also from Strong Towns.

An anniversary and reminder of early night schools: “150 years since her birth, Rosa Luxemburg is often remembered more as a martyr than a theorist. But as a teacher at a socialist party school she taught worker-militants to see the world like a Marxist — nurturing the intellectual tools that would let them master their own fate.” From Jacobin.

Jonathan Chait in NY mag about Joe Manchin’s opportunity on the godawful filibuster, or at least so Chait thinks … “Ironically, it is the misleading nature of pro-filibuster propaganda that has enabled Manchin to co-opt its themes. Filibuster advocates present the device as a requirement to allow “debate,” likening it to a kind of free-speech right for senators. … In fact, the modern filibuster inhibits rather than enables debate.”

How will mass transportation, critical to any Green New Deal program but nearly leveled by the pandemic, regain and enhance its appeal as a new, post-pandemic world emerges? Here’s a quickie Streetsblog look at the prospects built into the latest relief package. 

In Slate: a good recounting of the Amazon “boycott” that jumped out of nowhere last week. Lefties are pretty good at channeling Twitter chaos — but disjointed attacks can stir confusion or be exploited by hostile agents …

How did “Middle Class Joe” Biden come around to a bill that has huge antipoverty features? A virtual murmerers’ row of NYT political reporters teams up for the answers, at least by their lights.

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