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APRIL 2, 2021
- DSA National Convention Set August 1 – 8
- MDC DSA Statement on solidarity for whistleblower Daniel Hale
- MDC DSA Steering Committee update
DSA National Convention scheduled from August 1 to 8 — Delegate Nomination Information Disclosed Below
Welcome to April, where we will begin choosing our MDC DSA delegates to the national convention, which is scheduled to take place virtually August 1 through 8. Delegate nominations for MDC DSA will end on April 21; the nomination form will be available soon. Metro DC DSA is entitled to 45 delegates and 9 alternates, and subject to a diversity requirement.
You can read about the early versions of convention rules, delegate allocations and the draft platform on the DSA national website here.
MDC DSA Statement on Solidarity for Whistleblower Daniel Hale
On March 31, Daniel Hale pleaded guilty to giving information about the US drone program to a journalist. These extrajudicial executions violate international law. MDC DSA’s steering committee released the following statement on April 1 standing with Daniel Hale’s disclosure.
US drone strikes, euphemistically called “targeted killings,” are a form of extrajudicial executions that violate international law. The information Hale made available contradicted the sanitized image the US government presents of its secretive global assassination program. Hale’s decision to inform the public about these crimes is heroic, yet he has been charged under the Espionage Act for doing so.
Updates from the Most Recent MDC DSA Steering Committee
- Steering voted to approve the Chapter’s first Section: the Queer Caucus’ application to become a Section has been approved. Reach out to Nate (Nate Hall (he/him) on Slack) to get involved!
- Eight formations submitted reports in the first of the Chapter’s quarterly review cycles. You can view the Acting Campaign Coordinator’s summary report here and the individual formation reports in the links below:
- Following the submission of these reports, Steering and the Campaign Council held their first Joint Meeting on March 30. Minutes from this meeting will be made available on the Member Portal as soon as possible.
- If you’re interested in applying to be a Harassment and Grievance Officer for the Chapter and/or joining a commission to review our HGO policies, please fill out this form! Contact Rachel B. and Kurtis H. with any questions.
- The Treasurer provided this financial report.
APRIL 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 in our April 2021 issue:
Medicare for All — An Imperative for Workers and Working Families — In our struggle for Medicare for All it’s critical to remember the deep relevance of health coverage to the least covered and most victimized by for-profit medicine — workers and their families. Our article reminds us of who has the most to gain because everyday capitalism has already cost them so much.
Voting Expansion vs. Suppression: The War is On — The political war between voting rights and voter suppression has reached a new intensity. For the Left, the battle is about the future of progressive politics; for the Republican Party, it’s about survival.
Building a DSA that Disrupts and Wins — A PG County member articulates his hopes for August’s national DSA convention, asking: how can we build a broader Left that can organize, disrupt and win?
The Achievement of John Sweeney — In his 14 years as president of the AFL-CIO, socialist and DSA member John Sweeney showed what a patient radical in a quite non-radical job could accomplish, bringing along his conviction that “genuine labor solidarity is based on the mutual interest of the world’s working class and not the political disputes of governments.” He led labor out of its Cold-War fixation.
Two Cheers for MMT — Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is being touted as the alternative engine that can fuel a full-bore Green New Deal eco-socialist style. An economics writer says there’s a lot to be said for this anti-austerity paradigm though it has a few, not necessarily fatal, weak spots.
Considering Dr. Seuss — The estate of Dr. Seuss was justified in ceasing the publications of several of his books that contained racist images. But Dr. Seuss wrote other books that delivered progressive and sometimes anti-racist messages and his legacy should be viewed against the entirety of his life’s work.
A Blueprint for Tackling Climate Change — The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson “concretely addresses the radical transformation of real existing capitalism dominated by its militarized fossil legacy,” our reviewer says. It is a “radical utopian” science fiction novel, not without suffering and struggle on the way to a better future, but not the dystopian indulgence to which pop culture has conditioned us.
Labor Organizing in PG County — Following the end of the voting period on March 29, all eyes are on Bessemer, Alabama, where Amazon workers have organized tirelessly to unionize their warehouse. The wave is spreading across the country: On March 6, the Prince George’s DSA labor working group hosted a meeting addressed by activists from Amazonians United — an organization building community and workplace power at various Amazon locations across the country, including in Maryland.
And a compilation of some of the best articles and reports from March 2021.
National DSA Statement on Arkansas Legislature Vote to Endanger Transgender Kids
On March 31, the Arkansas legislature voted to ban gender transition surgeries or medications to minors — a vote that puts many transgender minors at risk.
National DSA released a statement condemning the measure along with other right-wing legislation that limits social participation of transgender youth and athletes:
“The work for transgender justice is part of the work for all of our collective liberation. We will build a world in which transgender youth can grow up safely and in affirming communities. … We will build a world where transgender people can not just survive, but thrive.”
For some additional reading on transgender-related solidarity and issues, check out some of the following:
- In Them magazine: “This Anti-Trans Moment Demands More Than Representation” by Jules Gill-Peterson
- A brief history on Transgender Day of Visibility (March 30)
- How to be a good ally from LGBTQ Nation
And if you want to help locally, DC-based community organization Casa Ruby, which provides community and resources to LGBTQ+ immigrants, has been forced out of their building following an electrical fire and unsupportive landlord. Casa Ruby does vital work in DC and is a well-trusted organization in DC.
The organization is fundraising to find new low barrier housing. If you can, visit this link to learn more and chip in.
Jobs & Labor Education Series
On April 8, and 15, two courses on a Labor and a Jobs Guarantee, hosted by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung NYC (RLS-NYC), United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE), Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity (GISP), and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for a Green New Deal!
This series seeks to cover three major items: (1) be a popular education training on the Jobs Guarantee (JG); (2) highlight the historic potential of a JG for racial justice and climate justice; and (3) most importantly, build links between those advocating for a jobs guarantee and those fighting for a strong, mass, working-class, labor movement, following the framework of UE’s Them and Us Unionism.
All sessions are open to the public. The panel discussions will be livestreamed on YouTube and can be viewed later. Rank-and-file union members are especially welcome to participate in the 3rd session! View yesterday’s first session here.
Electoral Organizing for Karishma Mehta Continues in Virginia
DSA for Karishma will be canvassing this Saturday at 10am and 2pm. You can sign up for any of the canvassing 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!
We recently had a canvassing and phonebanking training, you can view the recording here 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.
Candidate Endorsement Questionnaire Revamp
The chapter’s Political Engagement Committee (PEC) is revamping the candidate endorsement questionnaire, which all electoral candidates must complete before seeking Metro DC DSA’s endorsement. As part of this process, the PEC is soliciting feedback from Chapter members about what questions we should be asking candidates during the endorsement process. Complete this form to provide feedback. Please be as thorough or as brief as you’d like. There are no required questions, including name, in the event you’d like to remain anonymous.
WTU: DC Public Schools is Trying to Fire School Librarians … Again
As students and families are coming through the pandemic and academic achievement is so perilous, we shouldn’t balance the budget by cutting school librarians and denying our students access to the tools they need to get ahead. Join the Washington Teachers Union in reaching out to DC officials and letting them know school librarians are essential. Please click here to sign the petition and get more info.
Warner Targeted with PRO Act Cake Campaign
[from Union City Thursday morning]
Maybe he just wants more cake. For the second straight week, Northern Virginia labor activists delivered a cake Wednesday morning to US Senator Mark Warner (D-Va) with a message in icing not only asking him to co-sponsor the PRO Act, but graphing the correlation between union density and inequality. The PRO Act would empower workers to organize and bargain, as well as hold corporations accountable for union-busting. Warner is the only DMV-area senator who hasn’t yet signed on. “We will be here until he does!” tweeted Painters DC 51, one of the half-dozen unions and allies participating in the “Wednesdays with Warner” action.
Troublemakers’ School — Ongoing Throughout April
Our comrades at Labor Notes present an April virtual “Troublemakers’ School” lineup of webinars and organizing workshops full of tasty stuff, like another round on Work Won’t Love You Back with author Sarah Jaffe; a deep dive into the pernicious concept of austerity; and an analysis of Labor and Climate Change Solutions. It costs $20 total for a raft of events throughout the month but reduced costs can be discussed. Find more here.
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Friday, April 2
7 – 9pm | AfroSOC Monthly Virtual Happy Hour
Saturday, April 3
1 – 3pm | PRO Act Campaign Meeting
2 – 4pm | Red Rabbits: Virtual Marshal Training
2 – 4:30pm | MoCo DSA April Branch Meeting
April’s 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.
Sunday, April 4
5 – 6:30pm | Medicare for All Work Group Weekly Meeting | #M4A
Monday, April 5
7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Office Hours
Join NoVA leadership at our office hours on April 5th at 7pm! We have an open meeting every first Monday for any and all members who’d like to stop by and ask questions or discuss anything that’s on their mind.
7 – 9pm | MDC DSA Labor Speaker Series
Wednesday, April 7
5 – 6pm | NoVA Tenant Organizing Planning Meeting
7 – 9pm | PG Co. DSA Steering Committee Meeting
Includes a candidate forum for upcoming steering election.
8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA / New Member Orientation
Thursday, April 8
7 – 9pm | Political Education Working Group Meeting
Saturday, April 10
11am – 1pm | PG Co. Branch Ecosocialism WG Meeting
Sunday, April 11
3 – 5pm | General Body Meeting | April
Monday, April 12
6 – 8pm | Queer Caucus Happy Hour
Monthly Happy Hour, for all Queer, Trans, and Nonbinary comrades. Public event, DSA membership not required.
Tuesday, April 13
7 – 9pm | Biweekly Steering Committee Meeting
Wednesday, April 14
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Executive Meeting
8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA / New Member Orientation
Thursday, April 15
6 – 7:30pm | Workers and Environmentalists in Solidarity: Lessons from Social Movements in Latin America
NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS
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
Sunday, 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
Wednesday, April 7 | 8pm
The Big Scary ‘S’ Word: Socialists Fighting for Universal Healthcare during COVID and Beyond
Join the Democratic Socialists of America Fund, Dissent magazine, DSA’s Medicare for All campaign, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), and In These Times for the first installment in a-series of virtual events inspired by The Big Scary “S” Word. more at link
Friday, April 9 | 8pm
Organizing Overseas: Migrant Domestic Worker Organizing in the Asia – Pacific Region
Knowing that organizing workplaces is difficult, think about doing so if you lived in the home of your boss. In Asia-Pacific, over 80% of domestic workers are women, many of them migrants who live in the homes of their employers. more at link
We’ll be trialing this new section to shout up smaller notices from allied organizations, community groups and mutual aid formations.
Errybody Eats/Feed the Homies Volunteer Call
Errybody Eats, which empowers food insecure communities to live sustainable lives by supplying health-conscious meals, PEE and by offering employment/education opportunities, is looking to expand their street team! Learn more and sign up to volunteer here.
DC Ward 1 Mutual Aid Fundraiser for Ramon Gomez
Ramon Gomez was murdered last week in Ward 1’s Columbia Heights neighborhood. His family is seeking to raise funds to send his body back to Honduras to his mother, who hasn’t seen Ramon in 18 years. Ward 1 Mutual Aid has organized a Go Fund Me to support this effort.
Abolitionist Community Forum and Free Market hosted by The Palm Collective
Free food, clothes, produce, seedlings and a conversation about the benefits of abolition brought to you by GTC, TLCO and UFDC. Saturday, April 3, 2 – 4pm at the Big Chair SE (1001-1199 V Street SE).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up, or head to ota.dc.gov for more info and resources.
Publications Schedule: April updates are published Fridays, Apr 9, 16 and 23. The May issue of the Washington Socialist will be published Friday, Apr 30.
“But I already DID the Member Survey …”
We are once again asking you to do the Member Survey. We just love getting to know you. If you haven’t yet done the survey, please do so now! We are sending invitations and alerts to members based on those responses and you don’t want to miss out! Non-members are also invited. Complete it here!
Our Slack platform, with numerous channels for all our caucuses, branches, campaigns and working groups, is a great place to get connected with the kind of socialist work YOU want to do in DSA. Are you an MDC DSA member who wonders how to get on our chapter Slack? Just email email@example.com and identify yourself as a member. Put “request for #Slack” in the subject line. Use the email address by which national DSA knows you. If you are a new member, forward the email that national DSA sent you acknowledging your status.
Here is a deep dive by, who else, the NYT’s Tom Edsall, into the prospects for a Biden agenda in relation to factors in the 2022 election. A forest of PolSci data crunching shows some counterintuitive aspects: “Trump drove up Republican support among white working-class men — this is not news — many of them former Democrats living in declining communities that … lost political power as a result of redistricting. … In other words, the political losers in redistricting have shifted toward the Republican Party and the winners [well-off Americans] toward the Democratic Party.” And as the Georgia Senate runoff demonstrated, one researcher has suggested “an accumulating body of evidence … that voters mobilize in response to increases in the cost of voting when those increases are perceived as threats to the franchise.”
The rift between academic “revolutions” and working-class militants is explored in “Airbrushing Revolution for the Sake of Abolition” from Black Perspectives.
- A former US ambassador to Mexico pinpoints the real reason for the thronging of the southern border: “… the biggest factor driving such flows has gone largely unaddressed: the willingness and ability of American employers to hire untold millions of unauthorized immigrants.” Without enforcement “to ensure that persons hired to work in the United States are eligible to do so, our country will continue to entice unauthorized immigrants and reward unauthorized immigration.”
“Seattle Votes To Guarantee Lawyers For Renters Facing Eviction” (from Crosscut); In the unanimous vote Monday, “members of the council hope to keep as many people in their current homes as possible and avoid the devastating and expensive downstream consequences — including homelessness — that often follow when someone is forcibly removed from where they live.”
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.