May 28, 2021

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

May 28, 2021

Weekly Update



  • Defund MPD Coalition responds to Bowser budget proposal – JUNE 5 ACTION
  • Organize for Karishma Mehta in VA’s 49th District!
  • Local Steering and National Delegate election results

Defund MPD Coalition responds to lackluster Bowser budget — June 5 mass mobilization march on the Fraternal Order of Police planned

The Defund MPD Coalition, of which Metro DC DSA is a member, is coordinating a mass mobilization on Saturday, June 5th at 2pm at BLM Plaza (16th and I St NW). DSA members are invited and encouraged to attend this action and march as part of a citywide coalition! The action will highlight the opportunity the DC Council has to defund the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), renegotiate a contract with the Fraternal Order of Police in order to reduce police violence and put funding currently allocated to policing into programs that address community needs.

There is a Coalition event leading up to the Saturday, June 5th action that Metro DC DSA members (and non-members!) are invited to attend:

  • Protester Training: Online, 6 – 7:30pm, Wednesday, June 2nd. This is an optional and informational Street Law training hosted by the Defund MPD Coalition for those who want to know their rights at protests in DC. Access it here.

On May 27, Mayor Bowser released her proposed budget recommendation to the DC Council. The release caps off the official start of budget season in the District — where organizers, activists and community groups will begin battling with conservative forces in DC to push for a more equitable distribution of taxes and spending.

The Defund MPD Coalition — an alliance of over 29 local community organizations and political groups, of which Metro DC DSA is a proud partner — promptly released their assessment:

The Defund MPD Coalition welcomes the Mayor’s FY 2022 Budget Proposal but urges the DC Council to do more to create real public safety by cutting the police budget, moving police functions to other agencies, and reinvesting the savings into our communities. The Coalition is asking for a 50% cut over three years and a significant reinvestment in Black and working class communities.

  • The proposed MPD budget cut of $31.5 million is a step in the right direction but does not go far enough to reach a 50% reduction in three years. 
  • The proposed budget would increase the MPD FTEs by 1.6%, so it would not actually reduce the number of police in this over-policed city.
  • The proposed budget would increase the MPD’s capital budget by almost 50%, after more than doubling it the year before. The capital budget is heading in the wrong direction.

You can read the full statement here.

If you’re reading this and you haven’t already signed the Defund MPD petition, click that link and get signing!

Got any questions? Reach out to us at

Northern Virginia Primaries rapidly approaching — organize for Karishma Mehta in VA’s 49th District!

We’re just TWO WEEKENDS AWAY from the primaries in Virginia and we’re in it to win it with NoVA branch member Karishma Mehta! The campaign is ramping up activities as we get closer to Get Out the Vote weekend — and we need to hit the doors if we want to elect a socialist in VA’s 49th! 
  • Can you join us for GOTV canvassing shifts as we talk to voters? Sign up for weekend and weekday shifts here.
  • Do you need a ride or can you drive members to a canvass? Fill out this form for Metro DC DSA members who need a ride, or who have a car for carpooling. The new canvassing meetup location is also an 18-minute walk from the Ballston Metro station.
  • Are you interested in phone banking or other volunteer opportunities? Then check out this page to sign up. 
For the past four months, members of our DSA chapter have knocked on thousands of doors to elect Karishma to the Virginia House of Delegates. Voters have been inspired by Karishma’s vision of a Virginia for all — where nobody gets left behind, and where the rich pay their fair share. But with less than two weeks left until election day, we need everyone’s help! Check out the links above to sign up for a canvassing shift, a phone banking shift or other volunteering opportunity. It’s the final stretch, let’s win this thing!

Local Steering and National Delegate election results

Voting on both Steering Committee and national delegate candidates took place this week, ending last night. The Pubs WG will post the results are posted below:

Steering Results:
Of the 3698 voters in this election, 369 cast ballots. Abel A, Brian W, Irene Koo, Kareem E, Runal D, Saoirse Gowan, Stephanie G, and Stuart Karaffa are the winners after counting the ballots using Approval Voting.

National Convention Delegate Results:
Of the 3698 voters in this election, 369 cast ballots. Delegates were apportioned by the National Office proportional to a chapters size and we were allocated 45 delegate seats and 9 alternate seats. There were 64 candidates running for these seats. The top 45 vote getters were appointed as delegate and the top 9 runners up appointed as alternates. The results are as follows (* indicates alternates): Abel A, Alex H, Andrew C, Anne Marie C, Ashik Siddique, Ben Davis, Brad C, Brendan G, Brian W, Caleb W, Carl Goldman, Chad O, Chip Gibbons, Conor Arpwel, David W, Diego J, Doug T, Frankie SF, Gary Z, Gayatri S, Irene K, Jonah F, Kaiser F, Kareem E, Kristen B, Kurtis H, Lauren K, Marge McLaughlin, Marie L, Mauro G, Michael B, Michael S, Mike H, nat s, Nikko B, Paola S, Rachel B, Runal D, Ryan Mosgrove, Sam N, Saoirse Gowan, Stuart Karaffa, Tim Zhu, Zack M, Zuhayr A

Alternates (to fill in if any of the elected delegates cannot attend) were selected as follows: Ahmed S, Thomas C, Shannon T, Stephanie G, Katlyn C, Josh A, Jacci S, Jana S, Henry E.

The membership also considered three resolutions at the May GBM. All resolutions received a first and second read and required only a simple majority vote to pass. The results are as follows: Resolution 21-05-R01, with 255 votes in favor, 19 against, and 74 abstentions the motion passes with a majority vote. Resolution 21-05-R02, with 234 votes in favor, 66 against, and 49 abstentions the motion passes with a majority vote. Resolution 21-05-R04, with 297 votes in favor, 11 against, and 45 abstentions the motion passes with a majority vote. 

Who did we elect? You can read more about the Steering Committee, Treasurer, Secretary and Campaigns Coordinator roles on our website. Delegates will be responsible for representing our chapter as voting members at the 2021 DSA National Convention. 

Interested to know what the DSA’s Bi-annual Convention is like? Check out this old report-back from 2019 to learn more!


The DSA’s PRO Act Campaign Keeps Rolling!

DSA is aiming to hit 1 million calls by the end of May to pass the PRO Act — and we’re already past 800,000! We’ve accomplished a lot on the campaign already: over 1,400 people have made calls for the campaign, thousands more have plugged into our organizing calls, 80+ DSA chapters organized May Day actions, we brought the labor movement into fighting mode and we flipped two US Senators. 

Metro DC DSA is currently leading chapters in calls made; let’s make sure to keep leading and bring it home in the next week! We need 50 people on each of the remaining six shifts to reach our goal. Sign up here to keep the pressure on Mark Warner and get the PRO Act passed

Support Strathmore Workers! 
The historic Strathmore Theater has a rat. The management there is looking to eliminate full-time positions at the front of the house, using COVID as the excuse. There will be a demonstration on Sunday, May 30th at 5pm. Meet at the Grosvenor Metro Station parking garage. RSVP here.

Rising Organizers Training Opportunity! 
Rising Organizers is working with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union for a 101 union organizing training! Next opportunity on Sunday, June 6th at 1pm. Register here.

Labor Speaker Series! 
Our next LSS will feature members of AFSCME at the University of Maryland who have been fighting hard for hazard pay and better work arrangements, and a whole lot else! Come hear how you can support this labor struggle in our region. June’s LSS will be on Monday, June 7th at 7pm. RSVP here!

June 12th PRO Act Rally
CWA and Our Revolution will be rallying at the Crystal City Waterpark on Saturday, June 12th at 10:30am, once again demanding Mark Warner stand with Virginians and workers across the US and sign onto the PRO Act. RSVP Here.


National March for Palestine — TOMORROW, Saturday, May 29

Upcoming action this week:

Need some inspiration? This week produced a number of shows of international solidarity with Palestine. The Canadian Labour Congress called on Trudeau to recognize Palestine as a state and halt all arms sales to Israel. CAIR & PCJF won a ‘major victory’ in the federal lawsuit against Georgia’s Anti-Israel Boycott Law; with courts ruling that the anti-BDS law violates the First Amendment. Ireland becomes the first EU country to declare that Israel is involved in “de facto annexation” of Palestinian territories. And from comrades in Cambridge DSA: PO #109 PASSED! The council voted to take steps to end purchasing from companies that violate human rights — a clear step toward ending purchasing from HP and other companies profiting off Israeli apartheid. 

Locally, demonstrations and shows of solidarity continued. MDC DSA signed on to petition for Palestinian Rights and urging Virginia’s representatives in the US Congress to sign onto H.R.2590 and H.J.Res.49, and vote NO on S.1061. And at Rep. Jamie Raskin’s district office, 205+ people stood in solidarity with the Unity Intifada (uprising) that “fights the hand of injustice wherever it tries to reach.” No funding state violence ANYWHERE.


Monday, June 7th at 7pm — Environmental Racism in DC Reading & Discussion Group

Join our reading group on environmental racism in DC to discuss the environmental and public health impacts in the River Terrace community in DC! 

We will discuss how the community got there, how the local pollution disproportionately impacts the Black residents in the area, and what this has to do with Pepco and our fight for energy democracy in the District. Dr. Janet Phoenix, a GWU professor whose work involves the public health effects of the power plant on residents of the River Terrace community, will speak at this event.


Mobilize Socialists in the DMV!

Want to help get unengaged DSA members involved in our chapter’s crucial political work? Want to join an awesome team of mobilizers helping to build up our chapter’s capacity? Want to learn organizing and mobilization skills that we’ll all need to make socialism a reality?

If you’re interested in talking with other DSA members about their skills and helping them get involved in our chapter’s work, we’d love to have you join our Mobilization team! Schedule a 30 minute meeting with one of our Mobilizers using this Calendly link! We’d love to chat with you about how you can get involved : )

HGO nomination process wraps up

The Steering Committee is very pleased to announce the appointment of Noelle B and Kaitlyn as our new Harassment and Grievance Officers (HGOs)! Adam M, one of our current HGOs, has done a wonderful job building out the HGO systems and handling grievances, and will be staying on in the positions for at least a six-month transitional period to train and onboard Noelle and Kaitlyn. We’re really excited to have the three of them serve in this role!

Thank you to all of the members who applied — we received many excellent applicants, and we’re incredibly grateful to everyone who took the time to speak with the Steering Committee. 

HGOs handle complaints that are filed by members and work to bring grievances and conflict to resolution, either through mediation or disciplinary measures. 

The incoming HGOs will also lead a commission that will review and possibly revise our current Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedure, and will research and explore the best approach to creating a parallel process to the chapter’s grievance procedure that will be used to handle disputes and conflict resolution for issues that arise between members that do not fall within the scope of the grievance procedure.

The nominees were selected by the Steering Committee after interviews and discussion. Members had a week to submit statements of dissent on any of the nominees. No statements were submitted and the nominees were appointed as HGOs for a one-year term at the General Body Meeting on Sunday, May 23.


Socialist Feminist Caucus — Fund-A-Thon and raffle updates

We have raised over $4,600! Thank you to everyone who came to trivia this week! There is still time to help DC Abortion Fund reach the $150,000 goal. We have two more ways to fundraise through the end of the month. First, we are donation matching until May 30th

Second, from May 23 to 29, we are hosting a tattoo Raffle with Cry Baby Studios in Dupont Circle! The artists at Cry Baby Studios have generously offered their talents in support of Fund-A-Thon. Forty time slots will be raffled off for exclusive flash (to be released this week). Raffle entries are $5 per entry (enter as many times as you want) and if you win the raffle the tattoo itself will cost $40 the day of. Raffle ends Saturday, May 29 at 12pm; winners announced May 29 at 8pm. To enter, send payment via Venmo (@simbalsym) or CASHAPP ($simbalysm).


Saturday, May 29 

2 – 3:30pm | (How) We Keep Us Safe! Red Rabbits Support Role and Protest Safety Training

Midnight | Deadline for articles for the June issue of the Washington Socialist. Send to

Sunday, May 30

2 – 3pm | MoCo DSA Member Orientation

4 – 5:30pm | AfroSocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus Monthly Meeting 

5 – 6:30pm | Medicare for All Work Group Weekly Meeting

5 – 7pm | Defund MPD Phonebank

8 – 9pm | Birth Strike Reading Group – Session 2/4 [New River Valley DSA + MDC DSA SocFem]

Tuesday, June 1

6 – 6:30pm | Medicare For All Working Group: Research Team

Wednesday, June 2

5:30 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Phonebank

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

Sunday, June 6

2 – 4:30pm | MoCo DSA June Branch Meeting

Maryland State Delegates Gabriel Acevero and Vaughn Stewart will join our monthly branch meeting to discuss the 2021 General Assembly session.

Monday, June 7

7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Office Hours

7 – 8:30pm | June Labor Speaker Series — AFSCME members, U of Maryland

7 – 8pm | Environmental Racism in DC Reading & Discussion Group

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

Sunday, June 13

8 – 9pm | Birth Strike Reading Group – Session 3/4 [New River Valley DSA + MDC DSA SocFem]

Wednesday, June 16

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

Thursday, June 17

7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Executive Meeting

Saturday, June 19 

7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Book Club — People’s Republic of Walmart

Monday, June 21

7 – 8:30pm | June Labor Working Group Organizing Meeting

Thursday, June 24

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


Wednesday, June 2 | 6 – 7:30pm
Defund MPD KYR / Street Law
This is an optional and informational Street Law training hosted by the Defund MPD Coalition for those who want to know their rights at protests in DC. Access it here.


Monday, May 31 | 8pm 
Elections in Peru: Shift to the Left or Slide Backwards to the Far Right?
Stakes are high as Peruvians go to the polls to elect their next President on June 6th. The country has been devastated by the mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis, which has led to tens of thousands of reported deaths, mass unemployment, and economic decline. RSVP at link; more info

Thursday, June 3 | 8pm
Intro to Abolition
What is abolition? Why should socialists care about abolition? Join the Abolition Working Group on June 3rd at 8 pm EST for an introductory call that answers these questions on why this work matters, how socialism and abolition go hand in hand, and how you can plug your chapter in going forward. RSVP at link; more info


A new section to amplify smaller notices from allied organizations, community groups and mutual aid formations.

Cooperative Arts Cohort
Applications are open for the Cooperative Arts Cohort, which will explore how anti-capitalism and art intersect in a nine-week, nine-member educational cooperative run by Anti-Capitalism for Artists. The cohort will be facilitated by a different member each week (some of whom will be DSA members), who will guide an educational session about anti-capitalism and art and a discussion among the members about our personal artistic practices and the week’s topic.

Ward 3 Mutual Aid
Volunteer at the Ward 3 community food pantry every weekend to redistribute resources to our neighbors in need. Send an email to to sign up as a regular volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, consider donating to help sustain this movement.


Updates for June will be sent Fridays, June 4, 11, 18 and 25, and the June newsletter issue will be published Friday, June 4. Send submissions for June to by midnight TOMORROW, Saturday, May 29, and be sure to join our #publications Slack channel to join the chatter about how to write our socialism.

Your personal socialist kick-start — a continuing project in the Washington Socialist. Somewhere embedded in all of our socialist souls is the memory of that first book — fiction or nonfiction — that set us on our course to socialism. You might have encountered it well before you actually decided to join DSA. But without it you wouldn’t be a socialist. Tell us about it, in a few paragraphs or more, and send it to with the subject line MY KICK-START — we’ll collect/curate them in upcoming issues of the Washington Socialist. If you want to discuss the project, visit our Slack channel, #publications. We read, we write, we act, and this is how we extend our socialism to the world we live in and work to change. Check out what we published in the May issue.

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 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. 


An article in the Stansbury Forum warns about legislation in the making — in some surprising US states — that would provide separate labor standards for “independent contractors” like Uber and Lyft. Some prominent unions appear to be collaborating.

As GOP governors try to force people back to unsafe workplaces by refusing new federal top-ups of unemployment insurance, our local comrade Max S in Jacobin via Portside shows how these outrages demand federalization of the state-by-state patchwork of worker assistance.

From The Guardian via Portside, a roundup on state-level efforts to suppress teaching the actual history of Black people in America under the catchall (incorrectly used) term “critical race theory.”

Popular Information reports Amazon was sued for inflating prices across the internet. The lawsuit, filed by the DC Attorney General, alleges Amazon uses monopolistic practices to artificially inflate prices for products — even those offered for sale on other websites.

1995 was a year of major change in the leadership of organized labor in the US, and not a moment too soon. As our comrade Kurt Stand outlines in the latest issue of Socialist Forum, the new officers — current AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka was one — brought incomplete but far-reaching changes that are still being worked out today. An essential deep dive into labor history right up to the present.

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