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AUGUST 13, 2021
DSA Convention roundup
Green New Deal for Public Schools campaign is launched. Volunteers needed.
Fall 2021 reading group sign-ups
Delegates at 2021 DSA Convention largely vote to stay course
On Sunday, over 1,000 delegates representing DSA chapters across the country finished up at the DSA National Convention. Throughout the last week, delegates have been voting, discussing, and debating the best way to utilize the national DSA’s war-chest to realize socialism in the post-Bernie world.
You can view a full list of resolutions that passed here. Ultimately, delegates voted mostly to stay the course — holding commitments to labor solidarity, the Green New Deal organizing and local tenant organizing projects. Delegates also voted to hold to DSA’s strategy of exploiting the Democratic Party ballot line to elect socialist candidates to office. A few new campaigns passed without major objection in the convention’s consent agenda: commitment to support mass abolition work; formation of a national reparations committee; and commitment of more resources to Spanish language translation and bilingual organizing.
Delegates greenlit national DSA to develop a few new functions: Res 23 (711 yes to 256 no) wills the creation of a grant program to support chapters embarking on state and locally focused Childcare for All efforts; Res 30 (682-324) directs national DSA to create a matching funds mechanism to help chapters open offices; and Res 29 (542-471) provides stipends of $2k/mo to the National Political Committee’s steering members.
Delegates rejected some proposals which would have reconfigured DSA’s national formation: CB 5 (256-811) would have allowed DSA members to elect its National Director; CB3 (375-623) would have expanded the NPC; and CB6 (313-721) would have created proto-regional formations within DSA.
Delegates also voted (Resolution 14, 673-361) to allow DSA’s Internationalism Committee to continue outreach to leftist socialist parties across the world. Evidence of the Internationalism Committee’s record of work over the past two years was on display during the Socialist Internationalism Plenary which took place on August 7. The plenary included speeches from Jeremy Corbyn, UK MP and former Labor Party leader, Dilma Rousseff (former President of Brazil) and Omar Barghouti (co-founder of the BDS movement) among others.
Finally, delegates voted for a new NPC (the political committee which helps allocate and direct national DSA resources): Aaron Warner (LA), Ashik Siddique (Metro DC), Austin González (Richmond, VA), Gilman Bagga (Louisville, KY), Gustavo Gordillo (NYC), Jen McKinney (Oregon), Jen Bolen (San Francisco), Jose Alejandro La Luz (NYC), Justin Charles (NYC), Kara Hall (Vegas), Kristian Hernandez (North Texas), Laura Gabby (NYC), Matt Miller (Boston), Sabrina Chan (Chicago), Sofia Cutler (NJ) and Sydney Ghazarian (LA).
We’ll have a full overview of what went down at the National Convention in Washington Socialist out sometime in the next few weeks.
The Green New Deal for Public Schools campaign is launched. Volunteers needed.
If you missed Tuesday night’s campaign launch with Rep Jamaal Bowman, catch the recording here. As local members of the working class, we need all hands on deck in order to get this passed! Metro DC, we are asking not only for your signature, but for your help calling our local education workers, building trades workers, parents, and students to come together to support this plan to protect our people and our climate. Here are the different ways you can get involved in this campaign:
- Join us by signing this petition and click “YES” to get plugged into our volunteer efforts. Please circulate to sympathetic educators!
- Volunteer for national level phone-banking here.
- Volunteer for tabling and phone-banking local educators here. (Non-education workers only for sake of ethics concerns)
- Educators are encouraged to join the Outreach meeting this Sunday, August 15 at 3pm (direct link)
- Full team meeting this Sunday, August 15 at 5pm (direct link)
Every day, millions of public school students, teachers and staff work and learn in crumbling, unventilated buildings that swelter in summer and freeze in winter. It’s no different in the Metropolitan DC area, where public schools have been historically underserved by local leadership and educators’ unions have been demonized and subject to recurrent anti-worker campaigns. Now, during a precarious return to schools in the middle of a resurgent pandemic, it’s high time we stand with teachers and their students.
The Green New Deal for Public Schools Act of 2021 (H.R. 4442) is a step in the right direction. It will invest an unprecedented $1.4 trillion over 10 years in America’s K-12 public schools to build the carbon-free, climate-resilient schools of tomorrow. That funding will create 1.3 million jobs per year and eliminate 78 million tons of CO2 annually, while also hiring more teachers and staff, removing toxic materials, expanding community services and closing the education gap. The bill includes: $486 billion towards Green School Facilities; $250 billion towards Resource Increases; $100 million towards Community Engagement; and $695 billion for Accessibility.
This bill can purposefully turn our public schools, acknowledged as our most universal public good by folks on all sides of the argument, into “CENTERS FOR COMMUNITY RESILIENCE” as we rebuild working-class power while steadily eroding the hegemony of capitalism in all its forms and practices. At the local level, we are choosing specific schools in the DMV to organize as communities of working-class power. We are building community support for this singular effort, including with local House members who still need to become co-sponsors.
Join one of our Fall 2021 reading groups!
Great news: the Political Education Workgroup has put together seven reading groups in eight sections this fall! They all will meet virtually on weeknights and use readings available for free online. Spots are still available in most reading groups — sign up here if you haven’t done so already.
Here’s a list of the sessions:
- Capital in the Capital (Sunday night section and Tuesday night section; first meetings August 29th and 31st)
- Black Radical Tradition (Tuesday nights, first meeting September 14th) – sponsored by MDC DSA AfroSOC
- Palestine and Socialism (Thursday nights, first meeting September 9th) – sponsored by MDC DSA AfroSOC
- Capitalism and the State (Tuesday nights, first meeting August 31st)
- Technology and Marxism (Monday nights, first meeting September 13th)
- Socialist Feminist (Thursday nights, first meeting September 16th) – sponsored by MDC DSA SocFem
- Rosa Luxemburg (Tuesday nights, first meeting September 7th)
All knowledge levels and experience levels are welcome, and you’re encouraged to bring in your friends, coworkers and comrades outside of DSA. Sign-up to learn more about socialism with local comrades here!
MDC DSA Labor working group updates — Strathmore solidarity TODAY
We’ll be back at the Strathmore theater in North Bethesda on Friday to talk to patrons going to see the band America! The ticket workers are at a standstill with management and so we need to keep the pressure on. RSVP here! There is not only going to be Scabby the Rat there but also A Horse With No Name.
Food | Justice working group to contribute to Temperance Alley workday this Saturday (8/14), 3-7pm
From 3 to 7pm on August 14, a team from Metro DC DSA’s Food | Justice working group will be headed out to DC’s Temperance Alley to aid in Saturday’s community work day. Temperance Alley is a WIP garden park and community space located behind 1931 13th St NW. Those interested in helping to build out this shared community space are invited to join members this Saturday in helping to support the workday (DSA members can head over to the #food-justice channel on Slack to learn more).
The Food | Justice working group was formed to collectively learn about agriculture in partnership with existing farms and gardens in the DMV area, while working toward establishing a physical garden and shared community space. If you’re interested in getting involved with this new, locally focused working group, the group will meet on Monday, August 16 at 5:30pm.
Park Police breaks vow to halt dispersal of encampment in DC’s Burke Park
National Park Police have announced their intention to remove everyone experiencing homelessness from Burke Park on August 16. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of 2F08 Alexandra Bailey sent a notice to US Park Police urging them to halt their removal process and called on DC Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau (who quickly voiced support for the effort) and Brooke Pinto (who, as of this writing, has ghosted community activists). Commissioner Bailey previously led a successful effort to stall camp dispersal back in July.
In the case that US Park Police go forward with the forced displacement, supporters are asked to go to Burke Park (12 and Mass NW) at 10am on August 15th to aid residents in packing up their valuables. (DSA members can keep track of these developments in the #tenantsrights channel on Slack).
DC Council Introduces resolution in support of Medicare for All
In the 2021 Organizing Guide, the national DSA for M4A campaign set a goal of passing resolutions in support of the Medicare for All (M4A) in 5 majority Black and Latinx cities and counties. Towards this goal, our local M4A Working Group has been working towards introducing such a resolution in the DC Council. This week, CM Christina Henderson, together with DSA-member CM Janeese Lewis George, as well as CMs Brianne K. Nadeau, Mary M. Cheh, Charles Allen, Anita Bonds, and Robert C. White, Jr., introduced the “Sense of the Council Medicare for All Support Resolution of 2021“, written in large part by our DSA comrades and coalition partners. With 7 of the 13 members of the council in support, this resolution is well on its way to passage when the council returns from recess in the fall. In the “Statement of Introduction”, CM Henderson writes:
“This resolution will express the Council’s commitment to providing universal, affordable, and accessible health care to every resident of the District of Columbia, regardless of their employment status or ability to share costs…
This resolution urges the United States Congress to provide universal, comprehensive health coverage with zero cost-sharing for patients and endorses the federal Medicare for All Act and the State-Based Universal Health Care Act…
I look forward to working with my Council colleagues and other stakeholders to advance and pass this resolution and then seek permanent legislative options that will promote universal health coverage for residents in the District.”
Keep eyes on this newsletter for updates on making sure this resolution is brought to pass in the Council. Over the past few months, resolutions of support for Medicare for All have been passed by local governments in Montgomery County, PG County, and Annapolis (next stop – NOVA?).
All DSA members are invited to complete the DSA Member Survey by August 31st!
Pubs Sked — Weekly Updates in August will be published Fridays the 20th and 27th, and the Labor Day issue of the Washington Socialist will be published Friday, September 3, as the Labor Day weekend begins (Labor Day is Monday, September 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 firstname.lastname@example.org; article deadline is Saturday, August 28.
Get me onto the Socialist Mainframe: 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 national DSA knows you by. If you are a new member, forward the email national DSA initially sent you acknowledging your status.
Where we are getting our info: Journalism’s Class Problem Has Gotten Worse, from the Spectator (!) … given our demographics, DSAers should not feel too complacent about this. Is the secret simply an awareness of class relations? Stay tuned …
Is This The Beginning Of A New Labor Movement? comes from the YouTube Channel “Curiosity Stream—Second Thought” and provides an almost embarrassing shout out to DSA for promoting awareness of class struggle.
Part “read,” part slide deck and full of pithy and relatable info on race-class intersectionality, touted by our comrade Reana K.
Review of Biden’s Infrastructure bill from In These Times provides a clear roundup of the infrastructure negotiations. Prepared by a local DSA member.
These Koch-fueled creeps have been buying up the K-12 public school ecosystem for years — one reason we need to crank up our campaign for the Green New Deal for Public Schools to the max. From Portside and Common Dreams.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Going forward, we’ll be putting the National DSA and local DSA events into one Calendar list.
Friday August 13
6 – 9pm | Solidarity with Strathmore Workers
Saturday, August 14
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Book Club: A World to Build
Monday, August 16
6 – 7pm | Medicare for All Working Group Biweekly Meeting | #M4A
7 – 8:30pm | August Labor Working Group
Tuesday, August 17
7 – 9pm | Biweekly Steering Committee Meeting
Wednesday, August 18
Thursday, August 19
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Executive Meeting
Saturday, August 21
7pm | Black Liberation in the Work place: Finally Got the News Film Screening with Jerome Scott | National DSA
In the 1960s, Black autoworkers fought against exploitation on the shopfloor. They also confronted the officials of their white-dominated union, who had tried to stop Black workers from taking action to resolve grievances ignored by the union. Inspired by the Black Power movement and guided by Marxist theory, workers from several plants throughout Michigan more at link
Sunday, August 22
3 – 5pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting/Convention Report
4 – 5pm | 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.
Monday, August 23
Wednesday, August 25
Thursday, August 26
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Liberate Da Homies, Heal Your Mind | Heal Da Homies
Join Heal Da Homies on Saturday, August 28 from 3-6pm for an evening of music, food, radical books, and solidarity in Malcolm X Park. There will also be art projects to engage in and activities like letter writing to incarcerated youth. $5 suggestion donation, which will go toward Heal Da Homies’ prison program. RSVP here.
Back to School Bash | Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid
With the 2021-22 school year fast approaching, Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid is launching the Second Annual Back to School Bash to make sure that ALL DC students have the resources they need to thrive. Building off the success of last year’s inaugural campaign, which reached over 425 students and families, their teams hope to support even more students this year. Click here to donate and/or request a backpack of supplies.
Washington Revolutionary August issue
August issue of a local reporting effort conducted by a DMV abolitionist and activist collective is now released. Content includes recounting the legacy of black revolutionaries, coverage of the WMATA’s postponement of transit restrictions, and abuse perpetrated by the LAPD. You can read the entries on Instagram — and can DM the collective for a PDF version of their excellent grassroots journalism.
Monday, August 16
7pm | Real & Meal screening of A Thousand Cuts
Reel & Meal will feature A Thousand Cuts, a feature-length documentary distributed through PBS Frontline. The documentary and discussion afterward will be streamed on Zoom. Registration is required. A Thousand Cuts goes inside the escalating war between the government and the press in the Philippines, and follows Maria Ressa, a renowned journalist who has become a top target of President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on the news media. More info about the film and Reel & Meal, a Greenbelt, MD, institution, is here and here.
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.