July 30, 2021

JULY 30, 2021

Weekly Update

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  • DSA Convention 2021 — Opens tonight, ongoing into August 8
  • GND for Public Schools campaign; reps of the working class needed
  • Defund coalition victory: WMATA board vote on Metro policing postponed

DSA Convention 2021 starts this weekend! National Telethon from 8 to 10pm

DSA’s Convention 2021 opens tonight and goes to Aug. 8. Here is the latest schedule, some of which (as you will see in the link) is going to be streamed on DSA’s YouTube channel.

Join us TONIGHT, July 30th from 8 to 10pm ET for our convention kickoff and virtual fundraiser! Tune in to help celebrate all that our movement has accomplished so far and raise funds for the important work we still have ahead of us. The telethon will feature highlights from DSA chapters, members, comedians and electeds along with several surprise special guests. Proceeds directly support DSA’s work building the multiracial working-class movement we need — every dollar counts! 

Donate $100+ to get a poster, $21 for a button, and any amount for a sticker! Donate here! 

Keep an eye on this space next week for updates on the convention.

Here’s the big ask, comrades: what is YOUR capacity to join us in making our next GND phase happen?

Winning a Green New Deal to salvage the planet will require accelerated working-class militancy and organizing, demanding a radical and transformative expansion of public goods in the United States. Sounds like a job for DSA. A Green New Deal for Public Schools addresses the public good, our schools, that’s closest to all of us.

The initial MDC DSA organizing committee meeting Wednesday set in motion a strategic build-out for Maryland and Virginia as well as DC. And the timeline is short. MDC DSA OC leader Henry E adds,

“We know the consultant class isn’t going to get us to net-zero, and if this infrastructure bill is turned into a huge payday for them — as the Biden admin no doubt plans to do — that puts a gigantic damper on our hopes of an effective Green New Deal. That threat looms not just on this go-round, but for decades to come. If we want to see ourselves — workers, teachers, and students — included in a just transition, we are going to have to fight for our place in it. We need to fight for it right now.”

Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s just-filed ambitious new legislation — which aims to invest $1.43 trillion over 10 years in public schools and infrastructure to combat climate change — would make a transformative and unprecedented investment in public school infrastructure by upgrading every public school building in the country, building school and community green resilience, organizing workers where they live, addressing historical harms and inequities by focusing support on high-need schools and hiring and training hundreds of thousands of additional educators and support staff. The legislation, designed as a part of the “reconciliation” infrastructure bill, would fund 1.3 million jobs per year and eliminate 78 million metric tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking 17 million cars off the road.

MDC DSA, as a big multistate local chapter in the national capital, has multiple roles to play in this project, which seamlessly continues and builds on the PRO Act campaign. Fill out the interest form to be a local lead, talk the project up with @Henry E in #gnd4ps-planning OR work with national research and comms HERE.

And now …

WE NEED TEACHERS, BUILDING TRADESPEOPLE, PARENTS OF STUDENTS and WELL-CONNECTED COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS as leaders on this campaign. They will be critical in deciding how and where to organize for this campaign in the DMV. Does that describe you? Anyone you know? Join the call next week (watch #gnd4ps-planning for the link) and let’s get this thing off the ground. Are you a RESEARCHER, a FIELD ORGANIZER or COMMS PERSON? We need your help too! See the National Campaign Organizing Plan HERE.

WMATA board vote on expanded Metro policing postponed

The WMATA Board vote on a new rule to allow Metro Transit Police to suspend or ban people from transit after being arrested — not convicted, just arrested — for certain criminalized actions has been tabled until September 9th. This primarily happened due to pressure from the Defund MPD Coalition, of which Metro DC DSA is a member, and ACLU DC. Over 1,500 letters (~1,030 from the coalition and ~475 from ACLU DC) were sent to the WMATA board urging them to vote “NO” on the awful rule. The Defund MPD Coalition also staged a direct action outside one of the board members’ houses on Tuesday. In addition, over 40 DMV-area orgs, including Metro DC DSA, signed on to a coalition letter to the WMATA board. Also, several DC residents contacted their Councilmembers to release statements or directly reach out to the WMATA board in support of the peoples’ demands. If you’re reading this and haven’t already sent in a letter to the board, could you please do so now? It only takes a couple of clicks! Send a letter here!



Marx in stunnah shades

In this issue of the Washington Socialist

Critical Race Theory has the right riled — an easy button for them to push for the white-supremacist core of their support. A comrade who grew up in a segregated school system recounts what was simply left out or ignored in the Virginia of the ’60s and ’70s: “Critical Race Theory? Yes, Please”

In the Virginia of 2021, a comrade from our DSA group in Tidewater outlines a winning legislative campaign with DSA participation in what is still unlikely country for a Black progressive candidate: “Why Tidewater DSA Endorsed Nadarius Clark”

National DSA, about to go into Convention mode, has kicked off the next phase of its Green New Deal campaign, encompassing labor and the PRO Act but moving into the highly unionized public school system on the surge of an ambitious bill promising working-class empowerment and green resilience in our K-12 education sphere. MDC DSA has a role: “DSA Launches the Green New Deal for Public Schools Campaign” (chapter-wide contest: write a less boring headline) 

Just as the return to face-to-face school racks the nerves, so does the purported increase in gun violence in the District and nearby. Past the hype, what would it take to reduce gun violence as we emerge from the pandemic? Hint — more cops are not the solution: “What’s up with the District’s crime scare?”

Lobbying on the GND, struggling against the right and even within our own ranks — are we losing track of our socialist roots? Marx’s Capital is a reminder, avatar of our roots but eminently applicable to today, as a comrade who read the venerated book in a group with other comrades tells us: “You Should Read Capital” 

And conventions and conferences are in the air, with YDSA just having had a get-together. When we look at Congress and tell ourselves we have a comradely kumbaya spirit by comparison, that doesn’t mean Robert’s Rules don’t allow for some rough-housing in the corridors, as a YDSAer from the DMV found in his first YDSA event: “YDSA National Convention 2021 Report”



Montgomery County votes to keep charters out!

MoCo steering chair Nicole Z introduced testimony opposing charter schools in the county on behalf of MoCo DSA ahead of the MCPS’s Board of Education meeting. You can read about why MoCo DSA OPPOSED the expansion of charters in the county HERE.

We’re happy to report that the Board of Education voted down and denied the applications for charter schools! This is what people power looks like! (Now if we can get some socialist candidates on the School Board …)


Happy Birthday, Medicare!

It’s the 56th anniversary of Medicare TODAY, Friday, July 30th. As we all know, it’s time to move on to Medicare for All. Here are two petitions you may not have signed on to:

Here is a petition from National Nurses United, champs from the labor front.

Here’s one from our allies at People’s Action, of the step-by-step sort. 

MDC DSA Labor Working Group Lineup

Green New Deal for Schools Campaign
The Green New Deal campaign is looking to start work on investing in green public schools. Given the stories over the past years about broken AC units and asbestos in schools, this is a great opportunity to correct historic and racist wrongs. If you are a tradesperson, teacher, parent, student or just want to help with your skills, see the article in this issue (link when available). And here’s the sign-up for the campaign.

PRO Act Tabling Saturday — Need Volunteers! 
There will be tabling for the PRO Act Saturday, July 31st from 9am to 12pm at the Courthouse Farmers Market in Arlington. If you’re able to help, email labor@mdcdsa.org or ping us on Slack!

August Speaker Series — Domestic Workers
Our August Labor Speaker Series will be on Monday, August 2nd at 7pm and we’ll be joined by members from the National Domestic Workers Alliance to discuss their organizing in the District and the struggle for a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights! RSVP Here.

Labor Reading Group Opportunity
The Political Education Working Group is gauging interest in various reading groups for the fall. This includes but is not limited to a labor reading group! Sign up here (especially if you want to lead one).

Sign-Up for the Fall Socialist Feminist Reading Group!

SocFem is opening the fall reading group to everyone. We are organizing this reading group in partnership with the Political Education team — so you know it will be good. Please sign up at your earliest convenience.

Fundraiser for our local Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA)

All YDSA chapters are to organize recruitment drives this fall. Metro DC DSA chapter wants to purchase a $20 Recruitment Drive Kit for each local YDSA chapter. The Metro DC YDSA Liaison is currently working with eight local campuses. Help us raise at least $160 to sponsor their recruitment kits so they can bring new socialists to the movement!


2021 DSA Convention Resolutions

Following a survey of delegates, the DSA Convention organizers have announced the resolutions that will be passed at the convention via the consent agenda. These will include:



Weekly Updates in August will be published Friday the 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th, and the Labor Day issue of the Washington Sociallst will be published Friday, September 3, as the Labor Day Weekend begins (Labor Day is Monday, Sept 6). Every Labor Day issue of the Washington Socialist is a big deal; this year probably more so than average. WGs and campaigns, start writing your articles now; it is a great way of laying out your program and plans as we move from summer to fall on the activism meter. Send your submissions to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org



From NY Magazine: Daniel Hale: Call Me a Traitor. … The whistleblower faces up to a prison term for disclosures about official US criminality. Here is the Intercept article on Hale’s nearly four-year sentence, handed down TuesdayEditor’s note – someone who has not used up their free NYMAG views has to reset this first link to evade the paywall- Woody

Longtime radical scholar Walden Bello imposes some long-view perspective on a century-long march, in the invaluable periodical Foreign Policy in Focus: The Three Revolutions of the Chinese Communist Party.

Thin Blue Line … Dem activists correctly argue that critical race theory dust-ups in local school systems are the work of right-wing propagandists, but is it effective? “But those [dismissive national] Democrats appear to be underestimating parents’ anger in places where critical race theory is top of mind” warns this article in Politico — paranoia strikes deep, or just opportunistic reporting? ‘People are scared’: Democrats lose ground on school equity plans

From Portside, a piece of the US-Cuba story: a history of violence

As we launch the Green New Deal for Public Schools campaign, we’ll be in the struggle with teachers, their schools and their communities. Here’s how it worked in Oakland. How Oakland Teachers Took Control of Our Return to School.

From DCist — why gun violence in the District gets hyped in national media and what it means when media people parachute into our communities to bemoan the violence but don’t have a clue about the communities where it happens. 

D.C. renters’ lawsuit is a blueprint for tenant organizing: “A lawsuit filed on Wednesday by a group of tenants against a major Washington, D.C.-area developer stands to be the first test of the bounds of the most robust tenants’ rights laws in the country.”

Public provision benefits societies. Who knew? From NYT, Pandemic Aid Programs Spur a Record Drop in Poverty.


Going forward, we’ll be putting the National DSA and local DSA events into one Calendar list. 

Friday, July 30

8pm | National DSA Convention Kickoff | National DSA
Join us as we come together to celebrate all our movement has accomplished and to raise funds for the work we still have ahead of us. Tune in to hear from special guests like John Early, Judge Franklin Bynum and DSA chapters around the country! We’re organizing to win and that’s worth celebrating. Get your ticket today!

Sunday, August 1

1 – 3pm | MoCo DSA Branch Summer Picnic
Comrades from around the region are invited to join the Montgomery County branch for a picnic at Wheaton Regional Park. We’ll provide some food and drinks, but please feel free to bring a snack or drink to share! Please RSVP on Action Network so that we can have a rough head count.

Monday, August 2

6 – 7pm | Medicare for All Working Group Biweekly Meeting | #M4A
7 – 8:30pm | August Labor Speaker Series

Tuesday, August 3

7 – 9pm | Biweekly MDC DSA Steering Committee meeting

8 – 9pm | GND-public schools campaign weekly call | National DSA
(may be preempted by scheduled convention workshop on the campaign)

Wednesday, August 4

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

Sunday, August 8

3 – 5pm | General Body Meeting | August

Monday, August 9

7 – 9pm | NoVA Branch Office Hours

Wednesday, August 11

7 – 9pm | PG Co. DSA Steering Committee Meeting
8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA / New Member Orientation

Saturday, August 14

7 – 8:30pm | NOVA Book Club: A World To Build

Monday, August 16

7 – 8:30pm | August Labor Working Group

Tuesday, August 17

7 – 9pm | Biweekly Steering Committee Meeting

Wednesday, August 18

7 – 9pm | PG Co. DSA General Body Meeting
8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA / New Member Orientation

Thursday, August 19

7 – 8:30pm | NOVA Executive Meeting

Sunday, August 22

4pm | DSA4USPS: Dump DeJoy — Why and How | National DSA
This panel, seventh in a series on USPS, takes up the fight against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Trump crony and Republican megadonor, DeJoy has launched a 10-year plan (“Delivering for America”) featuring mail delay, price hikes, cuts and closures of mail facilities and privatization schemes — this is an in-depth look at why we need to remove DeJoy and how we’re going to do it.



Festival of Tenants | Cancel Rent DC
Saturday, July 31, 1 – 4:30pm
Join Cancel Rent DC for a Festival of Tenants with food, games, prizes, trivia, music, face painting and more! Kids encouraged and welcomed. Learn more about your community, Ward 5, Cancel Rent and CM McDuffie (4th St NE and Franklin St NE).

Farm (and Other F Words) Book Talk | Share a Seed x Slow Food DC
Saturday, July 31, 5pm
Farm (and Other F Words) is a book that explores why we farm the way we do, what’s wrong with the current system and what the f*&! we can do about it. The Share a Seed project is putting on this event with author Sarah Mock at The Pug (1234 H Street NE).

BBQ Party and Fundraiser | Good Trouble Co-Op
Saturday, July 31, 2 – 5pm
 community gathering in Malcolm X Park with food, music, poetry and more! Libereaders DC will be on hand to lead a reading circle, book giveaway and a slam poetry session. Click here to sign up for the poetry slam and/or Zumba class.

Shoes for the People | Remora House
Through the end of August, Remora House is collaborating with Guns Down Friday to collect new and gently used shoes for unhoused residents and kids in Southeast DC. Two drop-off locations are available — one in NE and one in NW — text 240-437-4313 for location addresses. Shoes will also be collected at the Remora House table during the “Art-ivist Pop-up” event on August 8 at Malcolm X Park from 5 to 8pm. 

Bag-to-Mat, Call for Plastic Bag Donations | Heal da Homies
Plastic bags piling up? Now you can spare the environment and put them to good use! Heal da Homies is collecting plastic bag donations to create sleeping mats for houseless neighbors. DM @heal_da_homies on Instagram to coordinate drop-off/pick-up or volunteer to help with construction!



August 3

Digital Roundtable: Addressing the Wage Crisis in Restaurants | RAISE x One Fair Wage 
Tuesday, August 3, 11am – 12pm
Join us for a digital discussion on the wage crisis facing the restaurant industry, featuring Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, Mark Bittman and more. This event is hosted by RAISE: High Road Restaurants in partnership with One Fair Wage.

August 5

Health Policy Insights — Advancing Health Equity | MDCEP
Thursday, August 5, 1 – 2pm
Join this virtual panel discussion with Maryland policy leaders to learn more about ways we can address racial disparities in our healthcare system. Hosted by Maryland Center on Economic Policy.

The flame of thought, the magnificence of art, the wonder of discovery, and the audacity of invention all belong to revolutionary periods when humanity, tired of the chains of its restrictions, shatters them, and stops inebriated to breathe the breeze of a vaster and freer horizon.

Virgilia D’Andrea