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September 10, 2021
Steering vacancy brings local chapter election — SOON
Activists keep pressure on WMATA Board
Strike and picket support this weekend in Maryland
Steering vacancy brings election SOON — Nominations close this Sunday, September 12
A Metro DC DSA Steering Committee member has stepped down, creating a vacancy in the Steering Committee. Per the Metro DC DSA bylaws, as outlined in the section titled “7.2 Elections and Terms,” the chapter will now hold a special election to fill the at-large vacancy for the remainder of this Steering Committee’s term, which will end in December.
If you are interested in running as a candidate, members must receive five nominations from members in good standing. Nominations are open NOW at this link until 11:59pm ET THIS SUNDAY, September 12th. Any chapter member in good standing who receives five nominations will be notified and have until 11:59pm ET on Tuesday, September 14 to accept their nomination. Nomination counts and candidacy acceptance will be tracked publicly at this link and updated at least once a day until nomination acceptances close on September 14th. Upon nominations closing, a town hall will be arranged where all candidates will be able to speak and answer questions. This town hall will occur before September 26th. Ballots will go out at 12:01am ET on September 26th and close at 11:59pm ET on October 2nd. Ballots will then be tabulated, and the new Steering Committee member announced on October 3rd in #announcements. They will then begin duties immediately. Discussion for this election will occur in the Slack channel #september-20021-steering-committee-special-election, accessible to all MDC DSA members in good standing. Members in good standing who need Slack access can find out how to join below, in INFO ACCESS.
Activists escalate pressure on the WMATA Board
Last Tuesday, an alliance of activist and abolitionist organizations met in Columbia Heights to rally against WMATA’s pending decision to ban those alleged to have committed certain offenses from the transit system. Crucially, the policy would ban riders before they had been convicted of an offense and force riders who want to appeal an arrest to navigate a long and exhausting appeals process. Activists — including Metro DC DSA — opposed the policy as it has not been shown to be effective where implemented and would risk continuing over-policing of Black and Brown communities, low-income residents, young people and our unhoused neighbors who rely on transit.
The effort to oppose the new policy was organized by Harriet’s Wildest Dreams and joined by activists from DC Working Families Party, DC Ward 1 Mutual Aid, Stop Police Terror Project, Sunrise DC, Metro DC DSA and more. The decision was already postponed once a little over a month ago, when the same coalition came together to challenge this aggressive policy. The alliance deployed a multi-pronged strategy to make sure the public was aware of WMATA’s stealth decision-making: holding a rally at Columbia Heights Civic Plaza; speaking with riders on the Metro about the policy change; and over 50 activists joining a WMATA Riders’ Advisory Council (RAC) call in order to recruit the RAC into the effort to oppose the proposed policy.
The Riders’ Advisory Council — which met on Wednesday — ultimately did not have the quorum necessary to vote on taking any action, but made a plan to meet again to draft an advisory to the WMATA Board about the policy. Some members of the RAC expressed their support for the activists and committed to advising the Board against enacting the policy. The WMATA board met in committees and executive sessions on Thursday morning, but the inconspicuously titled new policy, “Updates to WMATA Tariff-Ridership Rules/Guidelines,” was not on the agenda. The Board of Directors meets next on September 23.
Strike and picket support this SATURDAY, September 11, in Maryland — additional Nabisco strike support activities in Virginia
Workers at the Strathmore theater in Bethesda have authorized a strike. Though one is not scheduled yet they are continuing informational picketing. Strathmore theater management has given their “final offer” of only 30 hours for one worker while guaranteeing zero for all other ticket workers. DSA members will be joining the union alongside Scabby the Rat for informational picketing and flyering starting at 6pm, but come by when you can! Meet on the fourth floor of the parking garage at the Metro station.
Additionally, NoVA Branch Liaison Andy L is organizing a group to support the ongoing Nabisco strike in Richmond. If you are interested in joining this effort, fill out this When2Meet for when you’d be available to head down. You can also donate to the local’s GoFundMe here.
Make the Green New Deal REAL — get involved in the local Green New Deal for Public Schools campaign
The Green New Deal for Public Schools campaign is in full swing — and needs additional support. Interested in the strategy behind the campaign? Check out coverage here. Here are the ways we can get you involved:
- Part of our approach is to bring this policy directly to students and families. If you want to table at two local DC schools during back to school nights, sign up here!
- This coming Sunday (the 12th), there will be a meeting to go over the campaign and help you get involved; RSVP here!
- On Sunday the 19th, Metro DC DSA will be having a phonebank; sign up here!
Veterans for Socialism Meeting — September 19 at 1pm
Two new articles in this month’s Washington Socialist
Last week, we released the September edition of our monthly publication, Washington Socialist. This week, we have two new articles up for your review:
- DSA National Convention 2021 Roundup – find out what went down at the 1000+ socialist convention that went down just one month ago.
- Unconditional and Unequivocal Support of Afghan Refugees – check out this article to find out how to support ongoing refugee relief efforts
Last Call to Apply for Fall 2021 Organizing Training
Last call to apply to be part of the Fall 2021 Organizer Training cohort! We encourage anyone interested to sign up by this weekend. The training will build the skills of a selection of applicants from across chapter formations, preparing cohort members to hold relational organizing conversations, power map their opponents, construct a campaign and more. The training will be held in a virtual environment, start at the end of this month and will run for about five sessions. Fill out this interest form to learn more and apply!
We Power DC Launch Call — Tuesday, September 21
DC’s public power campaign, We Power DC, is excited to more formally integrate with DSA and is hosting a launch call on Tuesday, September 21st at 6pm ET to kick off this new phase of the campaign! Join us to learn more about We Power DC, why public power is both important to us as socialists and key to achieving climate justice, and how to join the movement to transform DC’s energy system! Look out for an event link in next week’s newsletter, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions!
Three Reading Groups Start This Week!
We are excited to announce the Technology and Marxism (Monday), Black Radical Tradition (Tuesday) and Socialist Feminist (Thursday) reading groups will hold their first meetings this week! These reading groups are part of eight sections meeting across the chapter. No reading group has held its first meeting on the texts they’ll be covering — so all reading groups are still accepting new sign ups. Other reading groups such as Capital Vol. 1 (Sundays and Tuesdays), Rosa Luxemburg (Tuesdays), Capitalism and the State (Tuesdays) and Palestine and Socialism (Thursdays) will hold meetings this week and next as well. Sign up using this form or find more information on each group at this link.
NoVA Virtual Game Night
NoVA Branch is hosting a monthly virtual game night (usually the second Wednesday of every month) on September 15th at 6:30pm. All socialists throughout the Metro DC area are welcome to attend. Game nights will be held on Discord (RSVP via the Action Network event to get the invite link). We plan to start off with games that don’t require an account such as skribbl.io and Gartic Phone but can also play games such as Among Us and Codenames depending on interest. Suggestions for other games that can be played virtually are welcome!
Stop the right wing’s return to Washington
We are just over eight months out from the violent attempts by Donald Trump and his right-wing gangs to usurp democracy. The January 6 attack notoriously left fatalities, including police officers. DMV locals know that that well-covered attack was not the only violence these gangs brought to DC. Prior to January 6th, Trump supporters, fascist gangs and Q-Anon cultists had been coming into DC to fight protesters — their attacks routinely harming residents of the DMV (and MDC DSA members).
Though it’s unclear if this rally will be large (attempts to rally over the last few months have been embarrassing duds for the far-right), a local effort organized by ShutDownDC is taking shape to make it as hard as possible for these groups to travel to the city.
If you want to join the effort, here’s where the local united effort needs immediate support. Call and tweet at the following hotels to urge them to refuse to host anyone coming to DC for the “Look Ahead America” rally on September 18:
- Hotel Harrington, (202) 628-8140, @HotelHarrington
- The Line Hotel, (202) 588-0525, @thelinehotel
- The Hay Adams, (202) 638-6600, @hayadamshotel
- Hyatt Place DC/White House, (202) 830-1900, @HyattPlaceDC_WH
- Grand Hyatt, (202) 582-1234, @GrandHyattDC
- Capital Hilton, (202) 393-1000, @capitalhilton
- Marriott Metro Center, (202) 737-2200
Here’s what you can say:
I’ve learned that the same people who attacked the US Capitol on January 6 are coming back to DC for another rally. I want to make sure your hotel isn’t hosting these violent thugs. Will your hotel state publicly that you are NOT hosting anyone affiliated with the Look Ahead America rally around September 18?
After you make each call, report the results on Twitter by tagging the hotel and using the hashtags #FascistFreeDC and #DCMeansDontCome.
Keep your eyes open in next week’s update for additional guidance on this. In the meantime, stay cool and follow trusted community activists for guidance. More than anything fascists want attention — don’t do their marketing for them.
Publications Schedule: September Friday Updates are scheduled for the 17th and 24th. The October Washington Socialist will be published Friday, October 1 with an article deadline of September 25 — 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.
A reminder of what’s up in the newsletter: here’s the Labor Day issue and here’s an example of our theme-oriented indexing, a deep dive into more than two years of extensive coverage of the abolition/defund movement in the DMV and elsewhere. You can find much more on what you care most about indexed in our Topic 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading “Slack access request” and use the email address by which national DSA knows you.
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
CONVENTION BY THE NUMBERS — Two MDC DSA local members, delegates to our virtual national convention, report in detail in this Substack/DSA Observer account that outlines/enumerates the multiple, overlapping power centers in big-tent DSA.
A certain geezer comms worker LOVES Politico — not just the “whee!” part but the free, Playbook part. He/him may not be alone. This v. thoughtful piece by Perry Bacon Jr., the newest useful person on the WaPo opinion page, points out the not-so-great effects Politico has had on political coverage, and the important features of our politics that have been overlooked in the merriment. Not just by Politico, but also by MSM scribes and bosses trying to keep up.
A dialogue between Tom Edsall, urban sociologist Richard Florida (and including Edsall’s usual cast of dozens) hashes over the manner in which the US is not only politically divided, but continually dividing itself further via the mobility of individuals “as different groups pack and cluster into different kinds of communities,” in Florida’s words.
MPD’s murder of District resident An’Twan Gilmore has sparked continuing unrest between residents of the city and the police forces that continue to murder and harass DC’s working class. Surprising no one, an investigation revealed that An’Twan’s murderer, Enis Jevric, moonlights as a local realtor. The link between gentrification and aggressive over-policing is covered in the most recent edition of the local pub The Washington Revolutionary.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Going forward, we’ll be putting the National DSA and local DSA events into one Calendar list.
Saturday, September 11
6 – 8pm | Picket and Leaflet at the Strathmore
Meet on the fourth floor of the Metro garage (Grosvenor-Strathmore Station) — Strathmore ticket agents represented by IATSE Local 868 are still fighting for job security and a fair contract. It is critical that DSA show solidarity by participating in this action to support these brave workers who have recently voted to authorize a strike.
Sunday, September 12
5 – 6:30pm | Green New Deal for Public Schools OC (MDC DSA)
Monday, September 13
Tuesday, September 14
8pm | Movie: The Big Scary “S” Word (national DSA event)
Virtual discussion with the filmmaker and activists on socialism, worker cooperatives and the fight for economic justice.
Wednesday, September 15
6:30 – 8pm | NoVA Virtual Game Night
Thursday, September 16
8 – 10pm | Socialist Feminist Reading Group
First fall series meeting; reading Angela Davis: Women, Race & Class
8 – 9:30pm | BDS & Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Sunday, September 19
1 – 2pm | Veterans for Socialism
3 – 5pm | MDC DSA September General Body Meeting
Monday, September 20
Tuesday, September 21
6 – 7pm | We Power DC Launch Call
Thursday, September 23
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Monday, September 27
Tuesday, September 28
Wednesday, September 29
7 – 8:30pm | Workplace Organizing Workshop — September
Planning Your Fall/Winter Garden | Share a Seed + Slow Food DC
Join the Share a Seed project and Slow Food DC for an interactive garden planning and cover crop event at Upshur Community Garden! Event takes place Saturday, September 11 from 10:30am to 1pm at 1325 Upshur Street NW.
Study & Struggle Reading Group | Defund MPD Coalition
The Defund MPD Coalition is hosting a @study__struggle reading group to meet every other week from September through December. The group will explore why abolition must be intersectional, environmentalist, socialist and internationalist. Each session will focus on a specific sub-topic — relationships, community care, land, climate justice, class, revolution, nation and state. You can find the full curriculum here.
DC Means Don’t Come! Rally Against Fascism, September 18th
As right-wing gangs plot to return to DC on September 18th, local activists and community groups will be rallying to oppose the erosion of democracy and to stand against insurrectionsts, nazis and white supremacists. Meet at Freedom Plaza at noon on September 18. Join for free music, food, education and vibes. (Keep eyes on next week’s newsletter for more information on this.)
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.