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August 27, 2021
Metro DC DSA to join March On for Voting Rights — THIS SATURDAY, 9:45am!
Members — don’t forget to vote on two proposed resolutions. Vote closes TONIGHT, 11:59pm
GND for Public Schools campaign identifies local vectors for outreach
Metro DC DSA joins the March On For Voting Rights — THIS SATURDAY, August 28th at 9:45am!
More than 200,000 protesters are expected to converge on Washington, DC, this Saturday as part of a nationwide protest against new voter restriction laws and to call on Congress to pass the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Washington, DC Admission Act.
MDC DSA will be in attendance — marching alongside allied organizations calling for DC Statehood! We invite all to join us — please RSVP for extra details! We’ll be meeting at the southwest corner of McPherson Square behind the bus stop at 8am. You can look for our big red banner or those of us in red. The march is set to kick off at 9:45am from Black Lives Matter Plaza, and is set to end around 3pm. If possible, wear red, bring a sign, a fully charged phone + portable charger, water, sunscreen and bug spray!
The far right have been trying to restrict voting rights in state houses across the country in a bid to dilute and destroy the working class’ advantages at the ballot box. If we ever want to implement any of the big popular ideas we need to save the planet and socialize the means of production, the masses must be able to have their voice heard and respected at the ballot box! Demands of the march also include ending the filibuster so that the popular will of the working class can’t be stopped by a fringe minority of oligarch-adjacent goons that squat in the Senate.
And for those of us in DC, this march is personal. The nearly 700,000 residents of DC have been denied voting power in the Senate and House, as well as local budget autonomy, forever. DC Statehood is not a “socialist” scheme — as alleged by some disingenuous Republicans — it’s a civil rights issue. As a historically Black city with one of the largest non-white populations in the country, denial of local autonomy and voting representation in Congress is tied into the wider oppression and disenfranchisement of Black and non-white working class across the country. It’s why we are proud to march alongside our local allies to demand passage of HR 51 — the DC Admission Act — which would make DC the 51st state.
Metro DC DSA members — don’t forget to vote on Resolutions by TONIGHT, August 27 at 11:59pm!
All MDC DSA members should have received an email on Wednesday, August 25th for votes on two chapter resolutions (email titled “MDC DSA vote on Resolutions …”). Voting will close TONIGHT, August 27, at 11:59pm!
Resolution 2021-08-R03: Approve a Candidate Endorsement Questionnaire will approve of a more streamlined candidate endorsement questionnaire. The new questionnaire was developed by our Political Engagement Committee following various chapter meetings and input from DSA members. Resolution 2021-08-R04: Authorize Funding for MDCDSA Merchandise Store will authorize funding to be spent to create a store to help facilitate the sale of MDC DSA-branded items, and create a payment gateway that will be made available to all chapter formations to facilitate the sale of unique items or publications.
Chapter democracy is incredibly important in making sure our organization works as an effective anti-capitalist organizing system for the working class. Establishing consent for collective action through chapter democracy lies at the heart of our vision of socialism. It’s why we urge all members — even those who consider themselves less involved — to vote on these measures! If you are a member and did not get an OpaVote email, please email email@example.com ASAP!
MDC DSA Green New Deal for Public Schools resetting to WG, aligning with (probably bumpy) path in Congress
Rep. (and DSA member) Jamaal Bowman’s bill (H.R. 4442) is the seed of our theory of change. As our organizing committee report said at last Sunday’s GBM, we must “make demands for enormous and transformational public investment that moves us to a decarbonized and just social and political order.” The $1.4 trillion investment into underserved public schools that Bowman’s bill proposes would be just that.
MDC DSA Chapter campaign leads are urging and helping organize action in all branches to link in educators and paraeducators and unions in communities surrounding eligible schools. Building working class power in the DMV requires fashioning a version of the Bowman bill that will anchor climate localism in the reconciliation package (now pegged at $3.5 trillion) and translating our theory of change into concrete goal-setting.
The Green New Deal for Public Schools bill and campaign ground that demand in a local public good — schools — that gives our chapter wide scope in organizing paths to DMV activism and base-building. The “robust, just, green stimulus funds that would get injected into every community around the country” provides organizers a sell-able investment which can help us forge a coalition between community groups, politicians, unions, and other working-class formations.
DC has targeted two schools, McKinley Tech (high school) and Seaton Elementary. Adding schools in NoVA and the PG and MoCo branches offers critical opportunities but means building capacity beyond what our WG can mount right now. We are reconstituting as a working group within MDC DSA’s broader ecosocialist caucus to gain capacity. If you are an ecosocialist (and we are sure you are) you belong on the team for this short and (maybe) brutish effort.
Timing is tough, with the school nexus (teachers and support, parents, kids) navigating return (or not) to in-person school. The Congressional calendar is chaos, but we need important MD and NoVA House members who can build this effort into the recon bill within their committees. Online petitions for individual members are in the works. But this is a do-able and critical campaign.
Join our Slack channel #gnd4ps-plans or email firstname.lastname@example.org to keep up with — and decide to work in — this important campaign. Or join us by signing this petition and click “YES” to get plugged into our volunteer efforts. Please circulate to sympathetic educators!
Invitation to Apply: Chapter-wide Fall 2021 Organizer Training
Great news! The chapter is holding a Fall 2021 Organizer Training and you’re invited to apply — sign up here! The training will form a cross-chapter cohort of ~20 members looking to improve their organizing skills and use hands-on methods to teach principles of being an organizer. Modules will include “Why We Organize,” “Building Campaigns,” “Developing Leadership,” “Relational Organizing Conversations,” “Power Mapping” and more. Apply ASAP, and be sure to get it in before September 10th!
We’re seeking both new and rising organizers looking to gain skills, along with experienced organizers from across working groups, branches, caucuses, sections, campaigns and committees looking to practice and renew their organizing. The training will be held at a mutually convenient weekly time for about five weeks in a virtual setting from late September to early November. We will do our best to match those not selected for the cohort with other training and organizing opportunities.
Howard U YDSA stages overnight protest this Friday to bring awareness to student housing crisis
Howard University YDSA are protesting a housing crisis being faced by students by staging a Sit-OUT (see coverage in Washington Post). YDSA will be organizing an overnight campout starting on Friday, August 27th at 7pm to the next morning at 7am at the corner of Howard Pl NW & Georgia Ave NW (across the street from Banneker Pool). Members and members of the community are invited to show up in solidarity. HU YDSA also invites all Howard students, faculty, alumni or supporters to sign this petition demanding student representation on Howard University’s Board of Trustees.
Union members — fill out our Union Membership Survey
The Labor Working Group is refreshing our list of union members in the chapter for purposes of internal organizing and to see where we have the most presence. This time it’s much more straightforward:
PGC Branch to Represent at Greenbelt Labor Day Festival Information Day
MDC DSA’s Prince George’s branch will have a table at the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival Information Day, Saturday, September 4. To get involved in promoting socialism at this annual local institution, contact Vijay P at email@example.com or Woody at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall 2021 Reading Groups Start This Week!
Metro DC DSA’s fall 2021 reading groups kick off Sunday! The Capitalism and the State group kicks off on Tuesday at 8pm, which will read Marxist State Theory and discuss it in light of members’ personal experience as workers, advocates and beneficiaries. In addition, both Capital in the Capitol groups, reading Marx’s Capital Vol. 1 all the way through (!), start this week. One meeting will be on Sunday, August 29 at 5pm and the other meeting on Tuesday, August 31 at 8pm.
To sign up for these groups — or the five other reading group sections organized through the chapter this fall — please fill out this form.
Jobs with Justice to Host Virtual Awards Celebration
Tickets are now on sale for the 2021 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights “Virtual” Awards Celebration.
JWJ (which MDCDSA is a proud member and supporter of) will host this year’s very special event on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at 8pm ET with an added twist — the whole event is VIRTUAL! You can watch from the comfort of your couch, favorite chair or enjoy some of that early fall air on your patio. Simply grab your laptop, smartphone or tablet and stream LIVE as we cheer on and celebrate some truly exceptional honorees.
MPD continues to abuse power — kills one in Wednesday morning shooting
MPD shot and killed a 27-year-old who was found unresponsive behind the wheel of his own car in the early morning of August 25. An MPD officer fired multiple rounds when he awoke abruptly, killing him (see detailed coverage in DCist). Though law enforcement can somehow figure out how to de-escalate a white terrorist threatening to blow up the Capitol — as they did last week — they somehow haven’t figured out how to extend that same public service to a Black man asleep in his car.
This police murder comes as District residents are still reeling from MPD’s brutal treatment of an apprehended suspect in Southeast DC on August 1. Black Lives Matter DC released a statement on August 13 condemning MPD Chief Contee, as well as the larger Bowser Administration, for ongoing inaction on addressing wanton and continuous abuse of power on the part of police in the city.
These tragedies remind us that modern policing is largely beyond reform. If you’d like to learn more about the effort to stop MPD by defunding the police and refunding community support and violence interruption programs, we invite you to join our Defund MPD working group, or check out the city-wide Defund MPD campaign to get plugged in to ongoing actions.
Publications Schedule: This is the last Update in August (Friday, August 27), and our Labor Day issue of the Washington Socialist is scheduled for Friday, September 3 with an article deadline of August 28 — so send your articles about fall plans for your campaign or WG to email@example.com to signal your socialist intentions and recruit for your cause. September Updates are scheduled for Fridays, the 10th, 17th and 24th and the October issue of the Washington Socialist will be sent Friday, October 1. Not-quite-finished articles for September will be warmly welcomed for the October issue. That’s why we call them periodicals.
Bored with periodicals? They are so regular, after all (homage and rest in power to Charlie Watts, for whom regularity in the midst of chaos was a practice and calling). But the Publications Working Group is also developing one-off products including ’zines, print flyers and brochures to be ready for when we start in-person events and tabling for socialism again. If this sounds more like your speed, join our #publications Slack channel and let’s discuss — or send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A reminder of what’s up in the Washington Socialist newsletter: here’s the August issue and here’s an example of our theme-oriented indexing. When we join the thousands marching to protect voting rights tomorrow, we’ll be continuing a four-decade struggle and advocacy for full citizen rights in this, the Last Colony, the District of Columbia. Explore four decades of articles about our fight for DC Statehood. You can find much more on what you care most about indexed in our Stories Hub.
Wondering how to get into MDC DSA’s Slack, where campaign channels host the essential daily conversation about all our diverse ways of making socialism happen? If you are a member in good standing of DSA, email our secretary at email@example.com with the heading “Slack access request” and use the email address by which national DSA knows you. (You can also reply to this email and asked to get plugged in!)
Brooke Adams of People’s Action takes on the glib neolib “explainers” who just know all about why Nina Turner lost her primary race in Ohio. Her scathing op-ed is in The Hill.
Our former MDC DSA comrade David Duhalde has a roundup on the recent national DSA convention in, where else, Socialist Forum.
What the Sunrise Movement Can Do Better, according to Jacobin: “The Sunrise Movement deserves enormous credit for putting the Green New Deal on the national political agenda. But the organization seems to have hit a wall as of late. It may be time for Sunrise to pursue a new direction in its tactics.”
A Politico account of Chairman Bernie’s activist itinerary in trying to protect the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill’s scope — including from members of his own, um, caucus (he is, after all, I not D). “It’s part of an inside-outside game Sanders has worked on for years.”
John McWhorter, ace linguist but no radical, argues that a recent student protest at U of Wisconsin forwards the claim “… that there is no difference between the past and the present …” He doesn’t deal with the question fully, but the argument is central to the cleansing of antiracism from our lives.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Going forward, we’ll be putting the National DSA and local DSA events into one Calendar list.
Saturday, August 28
8am – 3pm | March On for Voting Rights
Monday, August 30
Tuesday, August 31
7 – 9pm | Biweekly Steering Committee Meeting
8 – 9:30pm | Capitalism and the State Reading Group (first meeting)
Wednesday, September 1
Thursday, September 2
6 – 8pm | Southern MD DSA monthly meeting
Saturday, September 9
8pm | IRWG presents Migrant Representation: soy de aqui y de alla (From Here and From There) (National DSA event)
El pasado 6 de junio México el gobierno izquierdista de MORENA de Andrés Manuel López Obrador aumentó su mayoría. En la Ciudad de México, por primera vez en la historia, se eligieron diputados migrantes al Congreso mexicano. Con esto, los de la Ciudad de México que residen en el exterior están representados en el … more at link.
Wednesday, September 15
Monday, September 20
7 – 8:30pm | MDC DSA Labor Working Group
Thursday, September 23
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Wednesday, September 29
7 – 8:30pm | Workplace Organizing Workshop — September
Be a Good Neighbor, SIV Resettlement Support | Metro DC DSA
A large number of Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) individuals and families will be coming to/through the DMV as they are evacuated from Afghanistan. DSA members have been organizing support of Lapis DC, which has been helping to coordinate resources at the Adams Morgan bistro and at their other restaurant, The Berliner in Georgetown. DSA members will be heading down again TODAY, Friday 27, at 3-5pm to help sort donations and supplies. But we invite anyone interested in helping out refugees to contact Lapis. (If you are a member, we also invite you to join our #internationalism channel on slack to get connected to our relief effort.)
Additionally, you can also find a helpful thread of additional resources/volunteer options here.
Regreso a la Escuela | In the Streets + Sunrise DC
Join In The Streets and Sunrise DC this Saturday, August 28, for a back-to-school community event from 2 to 6pm at 1450 Girard St NW. Free food, school supplies, and community fun. They are also collecting new and used graphing calculators for students.
Back to School Community Table | Ward 1 Mutual Aid
Get in the back-to-school community spirit and join Ward 1 Mutual Aid on Sunday, August 29 at Bruce Monroe Park from 2 to 5pm for free groceries and school supplies. Community members are welcome to take what they need, drop off donations (of school supplies) and/or swap.
Plan Your Fall/Winter Garden Community Event | Share a Seed
Join Metro DC DSA’s Food|Justice Co-Chair and the Share a Seed project on Saturday, September 11 at 10:30am for a free fall planting and cover cropping event at Upshur Community Garden. This event will help community members plan their fall garden and prepare for spring by learning how to cover crop over the winter. Free seeds and coffee to get you goin’ will be provided. RSVP here.
Urgent Call for Volunteers | Ward 3 Mutual Aid
Live in or near DC’s Ward 3? Join the cause and support your neighbors by volunteering with Ward 3 Mutual Aid! Contact @Ward3mutualaid on Twitter or Instagram to get involved.
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.