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JULY 2, 2021
- SATURDAY 6PM to all night — End Evictions camp-out at Freedom Plaza
- SATURDAY 5:30PM — Stand in Solidarity with Strathmore Theater Workers
- Secretary notice on request for MDC DSA mass communication support
Saturday July 3 at 6pm — Tenants organizers with Stomp Out Slumlords to occupy Freedom Plaza in DC
Tenants from across the DMV will be gathering in Freedom Plaza on July 3rd for a protest and all-night vigil to demand that local and federal eviction bans be kept in place. The Biden administration and DC Council are threatening to end the eviction bans which have saved countless lives and protected tenants amid an economic crisis that has severely affected vulnerable communities.
Everyone is ready to return to normal after COVID, but “normal” for tenants means unsafe housing, sky-high rent and eviction. We don’t want to go back to normal — we are demanding REAL relief for tenants!
The demonstration will begin at Freedom Plaza at 6pm, July 3rd. We strongly encourage all who are coming to register.
Saturday July 3 at 5:30pm — Stand in Solidarity with Strathmore Theater Workers!
IATSE Local 868 is in a fight to stop the busting of the ticket workers’ union at the Strathmore Theater in North Bethesda. Management is trying to do something no other theater in the region has done – eliminate ticket workers and move to kiosks completely. Some of these workers have been there for a decade plus!
Join IATSE this Saturday, July 3 at 5:30pm in flyering Strathmore Theater attendees! Don’t let management kick arts workers when they’re down! RSVP here!
Secretary’s Note on MDC DSA Mass Communications Policy and Administrative Committee Capacity
The work our chapter working groups and priority campaigns are doing in instances involving rapid response is phenomenal and the MDC DSA Administrative Committee could not be more proud to support these endeavors. However, per our chapter communication policy, passed last year, officers of requesting chapter organizations must submit mass text and email requests at least 72 hours prior to the send date and time. Future requests that could have been submitted earlier but were not will be rejected.
Myself and all members of the Administrative Committee are proud to support the chapter and look forward to the continued success of our campaigns!
—Brendan G, Chapter Secretary
The Washington Socialist is our chapter’s monthly publication — produced by volunteer writers and editors on our Publications Team.
Here’s what we’ve got this month …
Our local comrade observes that “socialists of all stripes should reckon with the fact that we may need to rebuild at the local level the very thing we’ve been fighting for years if we want to retain and expand political power. The left needs to build our own political machines. Not as they were, but ones that are fully active between elections, that can deliver real material gains for working people.”
The urban expressways that are choke points in the Interstate system plowed through minority communities without compunction. In a post-carbon future, will they wither away and revert to urban space? And who will control that? Transportation historian Bill Mosley has a look.
PG comrade Jimmy Tarlau puts a former progressive legislator’s lens on the action at the 2021 session of the Maryland General Assembly. A litany of missed opportunities and unfinished business? You must have peeked.
An (admittedly old-fashioned) MDC DSA member outlines his skepticism about podcasts. Does the history of peasant rebellions in the 16th century provide clues to their value?
A MoCo comrade has an inside (the courtroom) look at how our legal system can sidestep eviction moratoriums. As the national moratorium is extended for the final month in July, we see just how much we have to fight for housing justice.
And the saga and drama of DC Council deliberations on funding or not funding MPD is itemized almost minute by minute by our MDC DSA Wilson Building correspondent, republished for our July issue. Small victories add up.
2021 National Convention Updates
This is a reminder to all national convention delegates and alternates to register for the DSA National Convention taking place in August (email email@example.com or Slack Frankie SF for the registration link). All elected delegates and alternates can get full reimbursement for their convention registration fee by submitting a “Finance / Funding Request” ticket on Red Desk.
You can also RSVP to the July 30 National DSA telethon fundraiser “Jumpstart Socialism For A New Tomorrow” here to help make our 2021 national convention the most accessible in our organization’s history.
ICE Out of DC Coalition raising funds for DC resident at risk of deportation
Despite the passage of the Sanctuary Values Act, our neighbors in DC are still being handed over to ICE.
One of our neighbors — Felipe — has lived in Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant for a decade, and his family have been here for nearly twenty years. Felipe was recently arrested over a dispute with a neighbor. When the police arrived at Felipe’s home, they entered without a search warrant and kept the family awake and in a state of terror until 4 in the morning, when the warrant finally arrived. Even though the charges against Felipe were dropped and even though DC is purportedly a sanctuary city, the US Marshals handed Felipe over to ICE at the DC Courthouse. He is now facing imminent deportation in ICE detention. Felipe is afraid that if he is deported back to Guatemala, he will be targeted by people that previously threatened his life.
This ongoing case is a horrific example of the intersection of so many issues DC is facing right now. The Ice Out of DC Coalition (which DC is a member of) is assisting with the legal case and is also trying to support the family during this time. If you can spare it, your support is appreciated.
Next Sunday, July 11 — virtual campaigns fair from 3 – 7pm
Next Sunday, July 11 at 3pm, come on out (virtually) and meet representatives from our Priority Campaigns, Working Groups and Sections! The event will provide an opportunity to meet comrades, hear about the good work being done in the chapter and get involved. The event will be held on the Gather program, a website you can access with your web browser. We have used this program for our AdCom socials and it is very easy to use. Get familiar with navigating Gather with demos right at the site.
Talkin’ Union — MDC DSA Labor Working Group Doings
Alabama Coal Miner Strike Solidarity — There is an effort being organized by multiple DSA chapters and the union’s Auxiliary to have a coordinated fundraiser for the 1,100 coal miners on strike outside of Birmingham, AL. The strike is looking to last a while and has already gone on for nearly three months. If you are interested in helping coordinate and run Metro DC’s contribution, reach out!
Next Labor Speaker Series — July 14th — Our next LSS on July 14th will feature Anne Vantine, the Business Agent for IATSE Local 868. They are fighting a union busting and layoff campaign at the Strathmore Theater in North Bethesda. She will discuss how IATSE and entertainment workers fared during COVID and the difference the union presence made in area venues, as well as the ongoing struggle of the ticket counter staff at the Strathmore. RSVP here!
Say No to Charter Schools in Montgomery County, MD
Montgomery County, MD, is known for its public schools. It is one of the reasons so many want to live in Montgomery County. However, there are two charter schools applying for approval from the Board of Education. Charter schools are privately-run schools that suck money out of our public education system. They contribute to the re-segregation of our kids’ schools, they are notorious for corruption, they do little to help and often harm kids’ education, and they attack our educators and school staff by aggressively undermining their right to join together in a union.
Join the Montgomery County Branch in telling the Board of Education to say no to charter schools, particularly if you are a Montgomery County Public Schools alum, student, parent or staff. Our letter-writing campaign has already garnered the attention of the Board of Education — let’s keep up the pressure!
Social Hour for Us: AfroSOC, Queer Section, SocFem next Friday, July 9
Three identity-based Sections come together for a social at Pitchers/A League of Her Own in Adams Morgan. If you identify as Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA2S+, women, womxn, non-binary or having any marginalized race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality, we invite you to join us at 6pm on Friday, July 9 for Social Hour for Us. We respectfully ask white cis straight men to not participate.
Mr. Flood’s Party Unwelcome in Detroit
Disasters everywhere this week, including a catastrophic flood at the offices shared by Labor Notes and Teamsters for a Democratic Union in Detroit. One of the sharpest points of the left-wing spear is blunted temporarily and needs our attention to get back in gear. Find out more and see how to donate.
It’s DC Budget season — keep your eyes on the $$
It’s budget season in DC, which means the Council is holding a series of meetings throughout summer to decide how to spend your tax dollars in fiscal year 2022. Every committee — from housing to judiciary — is holding these meetings and most provide opportunities for public testimony and/or submitting comment. Even if the public comment / testimony period for a committee has passed, you can and should still reach out to your Councilmember (or the Member who chairs the committee of your interest) to talk about your demands for a fair and equitable budget!
For a refresher on how the budget process works in DC, please see this helpful outline by the Office of the Budget Director. The Office of the Budget Director has several great tools for understanding how budget decisions get made in DC; we highly recommend taking a browse! Or if you’d prefer a source that’s a little more … lefty … check out our Socialist Night School on the topic.
For a recap of what’s in the Mayor’s proposed budget (unlike the President’s budget proposal, in DC the Mayor’s proposal sets the stage for debate and is highly influential), here’s a good outline by City Paper.
Updates for July will be on Fridays, July 9, 16 and 23; we’ll have a full issue of the Washington Socialist publishing on Friday, July 30. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or chat us up about it on the #publications Slack channel, where we routinely collaborate on speaking and thinking our socialism.
DCist reports: DDOT Won’t Yet Commit To Rebuilding Collapsed Pedestrian Bridge, Citing Low Usage
From Popular Information: Dropping the hammer on “cancel culture” — It’s hard to win an election arguing that massive corporations like Apple and Amazon should continue to pay little to no taxes. So why not try fighting the “culture war”?
Activists from around the region protested the desecration of a historic African cemetery in Bethesda on Juneteenth this year, and Metro DC DSA Comrade Kristian B covered the event for People’s World.
From the Labor Notes blog, important history. Decades before the modern LGBTQ+ movement, a small but militant union of maritime workers on the West Coast with openly gay members and leaders coined a slogan linking discrimination against gay men, racial discrimination and red-baiting. The two-decade struggle was crushed by Cold War official paranoia. And BTW, Labor Notes just got flooded out of their offices and the indispensable mag is struggling now; find out how to help.
Analysis from the Solidarity Center, touted by our comrade Dave R — America’s Political Crisis: Dead Center Can’t Hold — “By custom the two U.S. capitalist parties compete bitterly in the electoral arena, but on the basis of certain shared assumptions [including] that there’s a “bipartisan” consensus on protecting the political system itself and holding the country together. Either way, capital gets what it wants …”
Ezra Klein in the NYT does a temperature check on US democracy among students of democracy located outside the US. Does it have a pulse? Just barely, he hears.
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Saturday, July 3
5:30pm | Stand with Strathmore Workers
Info and registration at link.
6pm | End Evictions Forever
Public event and vigil from Saturday, July 3 to Sunday, July 4. Info and registration at link.
Sunday, July 4
5 – 6:30pm | Medicare for All Work Group Weekly Meeting
Tuesday, July 6
7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Office Hours
Wednesday, July 7
Friday, July 9
White cis straight males are asked not to attend.
Sunday, July 11
3 – 7pm | Metro DC DSA Virtual Campaigns Fair
Wednesday, July 14
7 – 8:30pm | July Labor Speaker Series
8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA
Thursday, July 15
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Executive Meeting
Saturday, July 17
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Book Club
Gar Alperovitz’s What Then Must We Do?
Sunday, July 18
6 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Picnic
Monday, July 19
7 – 8:30pm | July Labor Working Group Meeting
Wednesday, July 21
8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA
Thursday, July 22
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Wednesday, July 28
8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA
Help Unhoused Neighbors in Ward 4
Ward 4 Mutual Aid’s Unhoused Advocacy team is in need of additional organizers to help distribute fresh meals and hygiene supplies on Saturday afternoons. To get involved, email w4maUA@gmail.com or just show up at their Saturday distros @ Mosaic Church between 2 and 3:30pm!
NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS
If the mail is not giving you DeJoy, check out the summer Democratic Left news magazine here.
Tuesday, July 6
6pm | End Vaccine Apartheid Teach-in
DSA for Medicare for All, Center for Popular Democracy, Health GAP, Justice is Global, Sunrise Movement, and National Nurses United are leading a cross-movement teach-in about the intersection between COVID vaccine and treatment justice + cross cutting movements for collective liberation, such as climate justice, gender justice, economic justice and health justice.
8pm | DSA Convention Info Call
If you’ve been elected as a delegate or alternate to the 2021 DSA Convention, join us for an info call that will cover all of the basics on the 2021 Convention, including what to expect as a delegate, the proposed schedule, the role of chapters leading up to Convention, the platform and resolutions process, important dates and next steps, and … more at link
Wednesday, July 7
8pm | So You Want to Start a Chapter?
Interested in building working class power through DSA, but don’t have a chapter in your area? Want more info on what it would take to start one? This call is for you! We will lay out the organizing and administrative steps to take so that you can grow from a small group to a full fledged DSA chapter, featuring DSA staff/leaders and first hand lessons from … more at link
Sunday, July 18
7pm | How can we make DSA Anti-racist and Multiracial
A conversation connecting issues faced by people of color during DSA’s origins and today, between the authors of “A People of Color’s History of DSA” (2019), Alyssa de la Rosa and David Roddy of Sacramento DSA, who are also authors of two convention resolutions … more at link
The flame of thought,
the magnificence of art,
the wonder of discovery,
and the audacity of invention
all belong to revolutionary periods
tired of the chains of its restrictions,
and stops inebriated to breathe the breeze
of a vaster and freer horizon.