April 9, 2021

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

APRIL 9, 2021

Weekly Update



  • SUNDAY 3PM — Metro DC DSA General Body Meeting
  • Vaccine access info for DC, Maryland and Virginia residents
  • SATURDAY — Stomp Out Slumlords march for rent relief to struggling tenants

Metro DC DSA General Body Meeting — Virtual, this Sunday at 3pm

It’s that time again — please join us this Sunday for our chapter’s monthly General Body Meeting! During our monthly meetings, our various 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.

Register and retrieve access info here. New and non-members welcome!

(PS: Not a member? Why not join today?)

How to Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine in the DMV

Vaccines for the coronavirus are being made more readily available to all residents of the DMV over the month of April. But you do not have to wait. You can pre-register right now!

Virginia vaccine info: All Virginia residents 16 years and older will become eligible to receive the vaccine in Virginia on April 18 (while some localities have made this move already). You can pre-register for the vaccine in Virginia here (Fairfax Co. residents can register here).

Maryland vaccine info: Beginning April 12, all Maryland residents 16 and older will become eligible for vaccination. You can pre-register to receive the vaccine at one of Maryland’s mass vaccination sites here.

DC vaccine info: All DC residents 16 years or older will become eligible for vaccination on April 19. You can pre-register for the vaccine here.

Want to learn more about the vaccine? Check out this video created by Gayatri S, co-chair of MDC DSA’s Medicare for All Working Group, for our Vaccine Outreach Program. If you are interested in helping others pre-register for the vaccine, please fill out this Google form to join the campaign. We hold door-to-door canvassing events every Thursday from 6 – 8pm and Sunday from 2 – 4pm. We will also have phonebanking events every Monday and Tuesday from 5 – 6:30pm. Be on the lookout for email invites to join our efforts once you have filled out the Google form.

Stomp Out Slumlords ACTION — This Saturday, April 10

THIS SATURDAY at 3pm, Stomp Out Slumlords is marching to protest the DC government’s failure to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in rent relief to struggling tenants. Register for the march here.

While neighboring states are paying off back rent that tenants have accrued over the last year, DC is dragging its feet and letting a “strike force” dominated by the real estate industry decide how to spend $350 million in rental assistance funds, even as the District council chips away at protections for DC renters (see “Eviction Ban” brief below). Meanwhile, tens of thousands of local tenants continue to wonder if they will face eviction at the end of the temporary moratorium this summer.

DC tenants are tired of waiting, so we’re marching to demand that the Bowser administration get money to families who need it. Register online in order to get the meetup location on Saturday morning.



Passing of Washington Teachers Union President Liz Davis

Statement from the WTU:

President Davis has been at the forefront of public education advocacy and reform, leading the WTU’s transformation into a social justice, solution-driven organization dedicated to advancing and promoting quality education for all children, irrespective of their ZIP codes or results of the school lottery, improving teaching and learning conditions, and aggressively amplifying the voice of teachers in the dialogue around issues of teaching and learning. We are confident that her legacy will continue to shape the WTU as well as education across the District.

Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO’s Union City reported:

Elizabeth Davis fought every single day, not just for her members, but for all the city’s students and parents,” said Metro Washington Council president Dyana Forester. “… Davis was a constant inspiration to me and to so many others … Her loss is shared by the entire local labor community and we shall carry on her legacy of battling for justice …” Davis was a longtime member of the Metro Council’s Executive Board.

The Washington Post‘s account of Davis’ death in an auto accident Sunday night included:

The first time she stood up to D.C. school administrators was in the 1960s. Davis, then a teenager, staged a walkout at Eastern High to protest the lack of African American history and culture in her school’s curriculum. Hundreds of students joined her. And it worked, she said. The curriculum changed …

… Davis was a straight-talking and tireless old-school organizer who helped to revamp the beleaguered union when she took it over [in 2013], imbuing it with a broad social-justice mandate.


Environmental Racism Reading Group Meeting Monday, April 12

Our reading group on environmental racism in DC will meet on Monday, April 12th at 7pm to discuss the cluster of power plants in the Brandywine community of Prince George’s County. Together we will talk through how they got there, how their pollution disproportionately impacts the Black residents in the surrounding neighborhoods and what this has to do with Pepco and our fight for energy democracy in the District. Register here to attend.


Socialist Feminist Caucus Update

Childcare 4 ALL? MDC DSA SocFem invites womxn* to join our discussion at our May 13th Grrrlz* Night Social Hour at 7pm. A fellow Virginia comrade has worked on this issue and she’ll discuss her vision and efforts. Is Childcare 4 ALL possible or a pipe dream? Join the conversation and share your thoughts! Note: SocFem gatherings are for Womxn* and non-binary individuals. 

Want to lead the April SocFem Book Club discussion? SocFem will discuss three articles and we invite womxn* to volunteer to lead the discussion on one (or more!) of our monthly essays. To volunteer, send an email to socfem@mdcdsa.org. To RSVP for the Saturday, April 24th gathering (or review the three articles) click HERE. Note: SocFem gatherings are for Womxn* and non-binary individuals.  

The Abortion Fund-a-thon continues. Let’s show the DC Abortion Fund that Metro DC DSA socialists know that Abortion Is Healthcare. Donate HERE. Our chapter’s goal is $3,000. As of this writing our chapter has raised $1,709. This effort is led by Maria Svart through the Nationwide SocFem Working Group. Note: The DC Abortion Fund is 100% run by unpaid volunteers and virtually all donations go directly to abortion costs.

DSA for Karishma! Electoral Organizing in Virginia

We’ll be canvassing this Saturday at 10am and 2pm, Sunday at 11am. You can sign up for any of the canvassing opportunities (and the phonebank at 2pm on Sunday!) using this link.

The DSA for Karishma team is rolling out AKA (Ask Karishma Anything)! This is a chance for members to ask NoVA Branch member Karishma Mehta about her campaign to win the 49th VA House of Delegates seat, her platform or anything else. Please use this form to ask a question — we will be filming answers and sharing with the membership. 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!

Vaccine Outreach Efforts in Ward 8 with Sunrise DC, MDC DSA and DC Working Families Party

This Saturday, Sunrise Movement DC will be leading a vaccine outreach event in coalition with MDC DSA’s Medicare for All working group and Working Families Party DC! The event, which will be joined by Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Salim Adofo and community activist Jeanné Lewis, will be reaching into Ward 8 to talk with residents about the vaccine and what options are being provided by the government.

You can sign up for the event here. Before coming, you must watch this mandatory vaccine outreach volunteer training provided by our M4A working group.


Eviction Ban Erosion in DC — Local Elections Matter

One year after a sweeping eviction ban was enacted to protect renters through the COVID-19 pandemic, the DC Council is now starting to chip away at protections. 

On Tuesday, the Council voted in favor of a bill from Councilmember Anita Bonds that lets landlords evict tenants deemed a physical risk to their neighbors. Democratic Socialist and Councilmember Janeese Lewis George was the lone dissenting vote.

A second bill proposed by private-equity heiress Brooke Pinto, whose Trump-connected family helped purchase her seat in Ward 2 last summer, would have allowed landlords to immediately raise rent for tenants who had not qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced other financial hardship due to the pandemic. Pinto’s bill was narrowly defeated, 7-6. 

This is not the first nor the last attempt at eroding eviction protections during the pandemic that we will see. Please follow our friends at Cancel Rent DC and Ward 1 Mutual Aid, as well as Metro DC DSA’s Stomp Out Slumlords for updates and actions.


Candidate Endorsement Questionnaire and Protocol 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.

The PEC has also scheduled two sessions for discussion about how Metro DC DSA should update our chapter’s protocol and requirements for electoral endorsements. These two sessions will be facilitated by PEC Chair Stu K. The first session will take place in the afternoon on Saturday, April 17 (sign up here), and the second session will take place at night on Tuesday, April 20 (sign up here). If you will not be available for these sessions but still want to provide input on the chapter’s endorsement process, then please fill out this Google Form.


Education Events on Struggles Against Imperialism and Repression in Africa

MDC DSA’s local International WG is promoting two virtual events organized by national DSA’s International Committee on current struggles in Africa. The first, on Thursday, April 15 at 5pm, will view a program focused on the war on terror in Africa, military intervention of France/US and regional parties especially in the Sahel and East Africa. Info and RSVP here. The second, on Tuesday, April 20 at 3pm, will feature a panel of organizers and activists and will focus on the social movements they are engaged with on the continent. Info and RSVP here. 


Get caught up on the April Washington Socialist

Last week, we released the April edition of our monthly publication, the Washington Socialist. In case you missed it, here is what was included:

The monthly publication — as well as this newsletter — would not be possible without the team of editors, writers, designers and savants in our Publications team. If you’re interested in helping design the Washington Socialist, prepare our weekly newsletter or help shape the external and internal comms channels of our chapter, notify us using our sign-up form, or join the #publications channel on our chapter Slack (see Info Access section of this newsletter if you’re not on!). 


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.


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.

7 – 8pm  Environmental Racism Reading Group

Tuesday, April 13

7 – 8:30pm | 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

Saturday, April 17

2 – 3:30pm | Discussion #1: Updates to Metro DC DSA’s Electoral Endorsement Process

7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Book Club: America Beyond Capitalism

7:30 – 9:30pm | Movie Night: America’s Socialist Experiment

Sunday, April 18th

6 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Working Group Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, April 21

7 – 9pm | PG Co. DSA General Body Meeting

8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA / New Member Orientation

Thursday, April 22

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

Saturday, April 24

2 – 4pm | Socialist Feminist Reading Group
Note: Currently, all SocFem gatherings and discussions are welcoming only those who identify as womxn, non-binary people, or those of marginalized genders. We ask that men do not participate at this time.


TODAY, April 9 – Sunday, April 11
An essential piece of the Green New Deal — join the Global Just Recovery Gathering (350.org is a co-sponsor) today through Sunday (across all time zones); dip into sessions on theories of change, student and labor activism on climate, land protection, critiquing geoengineering and more. Info and signup here.

Monday, April 12
7 – 8:30pm | The Wealth Hoarders with Busboys and Poets
Busboys and Poets Books and Institute for Policy Studies welcomes Chuck Collins to discuss his new book, The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions, in conversation with Andy Shallal. The session explores how a secret army of tax attorneys, accountants and wealth managers has been developing into the shadowy Wealth Defense Industry. View the live stream here!

Wednesday, April 21
6 – 8pm | Webinar: A Century of Racism and Resilience Along the Purple Line
Explore how communities along the corridor have been affected by discrimination and urban renewal, as well as how patterns of residential and economic segregation are perpetuated by contemporary policies.

Thursday, April 22
6pm | MD ACLU Book Discussion
The Lines Between Us: Two Families and a Quest to Cross Baltimore’s Racial Divide. Join the ACLU of Maryland and the University of Baltimore for a panel discussion with the author, Lawrence Lanahan, and ACLU’s lead counsel who worked on the landmark Thompson v. HUD case, Barbara Samuels.

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.


Sunday, April 18 | 4pm
DSA4USPS: Rural Free Delivery — Past, Present and Future
In its fifth educational webinar, DSA4USPS will explore the postal service’s mandate to serve all customers equally, whether they live in New York City or an unincorporated town. Rural delivery is one of the most important functions of the postal service, but because it is unprofitable, attacks on it are more likely than ever. more at link

Saturday, April 24 | 12pm
Building the Religious Left: DSA Religion & Socialism Virtual Conference
From April 24 – 25, join your religious socialist comrades for two days of panels, workshops and skills training as you work to build the religious left. Hear from Andrew Wilkes, Sarah Ngu, Charles Howard, George Lakey, Matthew Sitman, Fran Quigley, Jewish Currents magazine, the DSA Muslim Caucus, the Institute for Christian Socialism, Megan Romer, Nicole-Ann Lobo … more at link


A new section to amplify smaller notices from allied organizations, community groups and mutual aid formations.
Neighborhood Gifting Day in DC The Buy Nothing Project’s DC chapter is hosting a neighborhood gifting day on Saturday, April 10, from 11am – 2pm at Adams Morgan Plaza in NW DC. Bring something to give away, leave with something new to you.
NoVA Mutual Aid Opportunities LaColectiVA has put together a great thread of NoVA-area mutual aid opportunities for the week. Check it out!
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.
Feed the Fridge + Office of the Tenant Advocate Feed the Fridge, a DC-based organization helping get food to individuals in need while also keeping restaurants afloat, has partnered with the Office of the Tenant Advocate (OTA) to get information about renters rights out into the community. Messages from OTA about how to get assistance will now be included in all Feed the Fridge refrigerators. Reminder: OTA is hosting FREE Renters’ Rights trainings on Thursdays from March 15 – November 18. Head to ota.dc.gov for more info and resources.
The Wealth Hoarders with Busboys and Poets Busboys and Poets Books and Institute for Policy Studies welcomes Chuck Collins to discuss his new book, The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions, in conversation with Andy Shallal.The session explores how a secret army of tax attorneys, accountants and wealth managers has been developing into the shadowy Wealth Defense Industry. View the live stream here!


Publications Schedule: April updates are published Fridays, April 9, 16 and 23. The May issue of the Washington Socialist will be published Friday, April 30. Deadline for May articles: Saturday, April 24. 

WHERE’S the #@%&ing Zoom link!?!?  Are you trying to join an MDC DSA event that you RSVP’d for but can’t find the Zoom link? Don’t throw your laptop out the window! Here’s the solution: Go to your confirm or reminder email for the event and click “Click here to view the event details.” Zoom link! Conversely, you can always re-register for the event to access the link. 

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 info@mdcdsa.org and identify yourself as a member. Put “request for #Slack” in the subject line. Use the email address national DSA knows you by. If you are a new member, forward the email national DSA initially sent you acknowledging your status. 


  • This might be an edgy place for some socialists: We deplore — especially now — the side effects of obsessive national sovereignty but wonder how democratic a supranational health organization with real power might be. Doing without might be a worse way of finding out than taking the plunge would be?
  • Mark Rudd, a prominent member of Columbia University’s Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapter, talked to Jacobin about the lessons we can learn from the radical movements of the 1960s.
  • BuzzFeed News examined Amazon’s track record of labor law violations during the pandemic. If the NLRB is ill-equipped to take on big corporations like Amazon, what can workers do to fight back and build power?
  • How should we square Bruce Springsteen’s working-class cred with his recent forays into presidential podcasting and perplexing car commercials? The Baffler goes deep on the complicated legacy of “The Boss.”
  • “… The struggle is increasingly playing out everywhere in Amazon’s world. At its heart, the conflict is about control … the company needs to lower labor costs and increase productivity, which requires measuring and tweaking every moment of a worker’s existence.” A detailed explainer in the NYT about Amazon’s antipathy to worker democracy.
  • As the GOP frets about the Biden plan for raising corporate tax rates, the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy reports “at least 55 of the largest corporations in America paid no federal corporate income taxes in their most recent fiscal year despite enjoying substantial pretax profits in the United States.” Many favorites are included: Duke Energy, FedEx and new Slack owner SalesForce. Some companies used CARES Act provisions meant to throw a lifeline during the pandemic to claw back taxes they paid in 2018 and 2019. Boosted in the Popular Resistance newsletter.
  • The degree to which the PRO Act’s provisions are needed is emphasized in this American Prospect report, “How Workers Really Get Canceled on the Job” — Pre-hiring personality screening and ongoing employer monitoring explicitly weed out workers likely to agitate for a union. Boosted on Portside.

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