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MARCH 26, 2021
- National movement for the PRO Act continues
- Electoral campaigning in NoVA continues with Karishma Mehta
- AfroSoc Leadership Council updates
Join the national battle to expand working class power! Sign up for DSA efforts to boost the PRO Act
DSA’s highest national priority through May Day is 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.
The short-term goal is to get 50 Democratic Senators to co-sponsor the bill — and the task at hand is to put pressure on Democratic senators by flooding their phone lines. The National PRO Act campaign has already made 250k calls, with a goal of 500k. We encourage ALL DSA members to plug into this effort! Sign up here.
Make no mistake — there is no greater challenge to corporate capitalism than the prospect of a new labor movement. It’s why Sen. Bernie Sanders is personally running to Alabama to boost unionization efforts there this weekend. And it’s why Amazon’s propaganda department has been attempting to gaslight the internet and diminish the sway of Sen. Sanders. Corporations like Amazon understand that expanded working class power would threaten their ability to exploit labor for profit.
Never forget that workers have successfully mobilized before. Back in the 1920s, labor organizers empowered waves of vulnerable immigrants to demand respect. Heroes and troubadours scoured America under the banner of the IWW to protect exploited workers in need. And Eugene Debs and the US Socialist Party provided a competitive challenge to capitalism at the ballot box.
DSA For Karishma Mehta: Elect a socialist in Amazon’s backyard!
We’ll be canvassing this weekend (and the weather is looking great!). As per previous weeks we have Saturday at 10am and 2pm and 11am on Sunday. You can sign up for any of the canvassing opportunities using this link.
If you’re interested in phonebanking, you can join us on Sunday at 2pm! Sign up for phonebanking opportunities using this link. If you haven’t already and are interested in getting involved with the campaign to put NoVA Branch member Karishma Mehta in the House of Delegates, fill out the interest form!
In other news Karishma Mehta held an AMA on Reddit on Wednesday, March 24. Find out what folks wanted to know here.
Finally, for those who missed our canvasser training earlier this week, never fear! We recorded it and we’ll be hosting another one in April. In the meantime, we always encourage folks to stop by the #karishma4va Slack channel to chat or ask questions.
Sign up to join MDC DSA’s AfroSoc and register to vote for upcoming Leadership Council elections
Do you identify as a Brown, Black, Indigenous and/or POC member of MDC DSA? If so, we invite you to register with this form so that we can have updated member rolls. Even if you’ve been attending meetings, please register. This form includes pre-registration to vote in our upcoming AfroSoc leadership council elections and includes a space to nominate yourself or another comrade as a candidate for our five-person leadership council.
Nominations will be accepted via the form until April 1. Candidates will then be in active campaign until the voting period opens on April 12. Questions? DM Paola (@Paola S.)
DSA M4A working group launches vaccine outreach campaign in Ward 4!
The M4A Working Group launched its Vaccine Outreach Program in Ward 4 last weekend. Already, the program is making waves. We knocked on hundreds of doors this weekend and set up in front of the YES! Organic Market and Safeway on Georgia Ave. This program is just getting started and we still need your help. Here are two ways you can lend a hand:
- Volunteer to canvass, table or phonebank with us.
- Donate to our fundraiser for additional printing of flyers and door-hangers.
We will be canvassing/tabling every Thursday from 6 – 8pm and Sunday from 2 – 4pm. No experience necessary as you will receive an orientation video by email and training before each session. We are particularly looking for volunteers that speak Amharic, Arabic and Spanish, but all are welcome. Please also remember to pre-register yourself for a vaccine appointment by going to DC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Pre-Registration Portal. Everyone in DC can pre-register for vaccination right now!
Metro DC DSA’s Socialist Feminist Working Group Fund-A-Thon
The Annual Abortion Access Fund-A-Thon is an annual national campaign, organized through the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) to raise money for local abortion funds. Our fundraiser will benefit the DC Abortion Fund, which provides care across the DMV.
In our first day of fundraising, our team raised $900 for the DC Abortion Fund! Thank you to everyone for your generosity and support.
To join our team or donate, visit the NNAF’s website and make sure you are following @DC_SocFem on Twitter for the most up-to-date fundraisers. There are opportunities for involvement at various levels, including: campaign planning, one-time event hosting, soliciting donations, individual fundraising, etc. Stop by our planning meeting Saturday, March 27th at 4pm to learn more and get involved. If interested in joining the effort but can’t come to the meeting, fill out this form!
SocFem Grrrls* Night Social Hour Thursday 7pm. RSVP HERE.
MDC EcoSocialists partner with Baltimore DSA TUESDAY, March 30th
The MDC EcoSocialist Reading Group is partnering with the Baltimore DSA to put on a reading group session focusing on the first three chapters of the book People’s Power by Ashley Dawson. People’s Power provides a persuasive critique of a market-led transition to renewable energy. It surveys the early development of the electric grid in the United States, telling the story of battles for public control over power during the Great Depression. This history frames accounts of contemporary campaigns, in both the United States and Europe, that eschew market fundamentalism and sclerotic state power in favor of energy that is green, democratically managed and equitably shared.
All are welcome, and reading group members are strongly encouraged to read the text in advance. The text can be purchased as an eBook or hard copy at the link above. The session will be at 7pm, Tuesday, March 30th and can be attended through the Zoom link here.
DSA Membership Update
How many local DSA members are there, really? Review of membership numbers suggest that DSA is growing strong. Metro DC DSA added 139 new members in the last month — with 86 members lapsing in membership. Netting a growth of 53 members. We currently count 3,149 members across the DMV. By locality, ~26% of our membership is in Northern Virginia, ~17% in Montgomery County, ~6% in PG County, and 37% in DC.
Have friends, family, or neighbors who are looking for ways to battle in the name of the working class? Or are you someone who has appreciated the DSA, but haven’t joined yet? Check out our join link here to widen the front against capitalism.
Washington Socialist — Inside/Outside Games
National and local political strategy in a cluster of home-grown analyses (including keeping our own organization secure); plus an amalgam of history, online aesthetics, bottomline socialist theory and (electric) power mapping — all in the March issue of the Washington Socialist. If you decided to put it off till later when you saw it go by last week — well, later is now. And speaking of later, the deadline for article submission to the Washington Socialist’s April edition is March 27, so scribble scribble, as the lady said.
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Saturday, March 27
2 – 3:30pm | Socialist Feminist Reading Group
Reading two online essays; readings and access at link.
4 – 5pm | Fund-A-Thon Planning Meeting
Help plan chapter-wide fundraisers, brainstorm individual fundraisers and learn more about the Fund-A-Thon campaign.
Monday, March 29
6:30 – 8:30pm | NEW Socialist Night School: Eugene Debs and American Socialism
As a five-time presidential candidate and founding member of both the Socialist Party of America and Industrial Workers of the World, Eugene Debs’ legacy has loomed large over the American socialist movement. Join Shawn Gude (of Jacobin and Substack’s Debs Dispatch) to explore the many facets of Debs’ legacy. Register at link.
Tuesday, March 30
7 pm | EcoSocialist Reading Group: People’s Power Study Circle, Session 1
Can be attended through Zoom link here.
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.
Thursday, April 1
7 – 9pm | SocFem Grrrlz* Night Social Hour
Friday, April 2
7 – 9pm | AfroSOC Monthly Happy Hour
Join the AfroSOC Caucus for our monthly Virtual Happy Hour! An informal space for Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color to kick back, chill and talk about whatever.
Saturday, April 3
2 – 4:30pm | MoCo DSA April Branch Meeting
Our April meeting will focus on political strategy with a look toward the upcoming 2022 elections. This is a great opportunity to learn about positions that will be open in 2022 and weigh in on the key issues and policy positions that guide DSA’s support for particular candidates. Note that we are meeting on a Saturday next month due to the Easter holiday.
2 – 3pm | Red Rabbits: Virtual Marshal Training
A virtual training on the basics of marshaling. After attending one of these trainings, you’ll be able to marshal for any of DSA’s actions with the Red Rabbits marshal team!
Monday, April 5
7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Office Hours
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 | 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 / Why you should join DSA
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 – 6:30pm | 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!
NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS
Saturday, March 27 | 2pm
Public Health Care in Canada and the US: A Matter of Justice
The United States and Canada have very different systems of health care. Americans are currently fighting to expand health care with a system of single-payer Medicare for All. Canadians pride themselves on their public healthcare system, but there are still many gaps to be addressed. Join labour leaders and progressive politicians for a discussion … more at link
Sunday, March 28 & April 4 | 1pm
DSA PRO Act Campaign Training
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. more at link
Friday, April 2 | 7pm
Runoff Election in Ecuador: The Fight for Democracy
Ecuador faces a crucial runoff election on April 11 as the country struggles to free itself from capitalist-imposed austerity, economic recession and pandemic. Socialist candidate Andres Arauz leads a progressive alliance and has an excellent chance to be elected President against right-wing banker Guillermo Lasso. There are efforts by the establishment to eliminate Arauz … more at link
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV
Thursday, April 1
6:30 – 8:30pm | Phonebanking Rep. Mfume’s constituents for Medicare for All
Join Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition as they make calls and encourage constituents of District 7 to reach out to Rep. Kweisi Mfume to support and cosponsor the Medicare for All Act of 2021! With the re-introduction of the bill on March 17th, it’s time for him to join other Maryland Representatives John Sarbanes, Jamie Raskin and Anthony Brown in cosponsoring HR 1976. Training will be provided.
We’ll be trialing this new section to shout up smaller notices from allied organizations, community groups, and mutual aid formations.
Good Trouble Cooperative: Seeking local BIPOC members to join their team. Creatives, writers, social media pros and abolitionists encouraged to apply. Good Trouble Cooperative is a Black liberation, community justice, mutual aid organization.
Mini Grants for Excluded Workers: The Happy Hour Fund is offering 11 financial assistance grants in the amount of $200 for excluded workers (those ineligible for unemployment benefits). Grants are first-come first-served and open on Sunday, March 28 at 4pm EST. More info and application (offered in English and Spanish) here.
Know your Tenant Rights in DC: Get informed about your rights as a tenant and learn about protections currently in place through the pandemic at a FREE Renters’ Rights training from the Office of the Tenant Advocate. Trainings are Thursdays from March 15 – November 18 and offered in both English and Spanish. Email Nicole at email@example.com to sign up, or head to ota.dc.gov for more info and resources.
DC 101 Community Safety Panel: Join Serve Your City DC (Ward 6 Mutual Aid) and Moms Demand Action DC on Monday, March 29 at 6pm EST to learn about the history of gun violence in DC and how local organizations are working together to combat it. Watch live on Facebook.
Publications Schedule: The April issue (no foolin’) of the Washington Socialist appears Friday, April 2. The deadline for articles is TOMORROW, Saturday, March 27, so give that article you wrote one more look-over and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your article — or to discuss what you are writing. Join the #publications Slack channel to see the state of play and issues folks are interested in. The Publications Working Group is what it sounds like: a workshop for socialist thought and action.
For April: We’ll have Updates on Fridays, the 9th, 16th and 23rd, and the May issue of the Washington Socialist appears Friday, April 30, with all the terrific events celebrating May Day (which happens on Saturday this year).
Wondering 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.
- NYT’s David Sanger always has a good stand-back perspective on this stuff: “That Was Fast: Blowups With China and Russia in Biden’s First 60 Days” — “It may look like the bad old days of the Cold War, but today’s bitter superpower competition is about technology, cyberconflict and influence operations.” We hope he’s not lost in optimism when he says that “there is little of the nuclear menace of that [Cold War] era …”
- The VICE tech channel MOTHERBOARD reports “Groups like the ACLU are pushing a program to rein in surveillance tech. But all it does is expand and strengthen the police’s surveillance powers.” Police Surveillance Can’t Be Reformed. It Must Be Abolished. Touted by our comrade David K in MDC DSA’s #defund-mpd-wg channel.
- “The Holy Grail of Transportation Is Right in Front of Us” — NYT columnist Farhad Manjoo observes “In America, nobody loves the bus. Lots of people ride the bus — we took about 4.6 billion trips by bus in 2019, more than by any other mode of public transportation. But at least 4.5 billion of them must have begun with a deep, dejected sigh of resignation.” What if bus service were recreated as excellent instead of being the stepchild of mass transit?
- Dean Baker asks “Are Debt Whiners Fools or Just Liars?” — The national debt is a meaningless number. From Common Dreams, touted by our comrade Dave R.
- DC statehood is in the news! Want to read about how the issue has developed over the years? Check out the Washington Socialist’s collection of statehood-related articles compiled here.
- Four fatal uses of force by the Metropolitan Police Department — three in 2018 and one in 2019 — were recently reviewed, the Washington City Paper explains, and found to have “serious holes in the investigations and reveals how MPD failed to fully investigate the circumstances leading up to the four deaths.”
- For a movement to continue thriving, it needs a diverse and growing membership of people of different ages. Check out David Duhalde’s article on “Socialists Across Generations: We Need to Talk” in the spring issue of Democratic Left.
- Want to help fight anti-Asian racism and violence? Take a look at the Anti-Asian Violence Resources webpage for a variety of helpful links and stats.
- The Democratic Left caught up with Alexadnria Ocasio-Cortez recently and touched on several topics including the Green New Deal, the rise of socialists in Congress, COVID’s impacts and even the quiet wins that not many hear about.
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.