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September 17, 2021
Monthly GBM — THIS SUNDAY, September 19 at 3pm
MDC DSA endorses Boycott Puma action in solidarity with Palestinian activists
PRO Act & Green Infrastructure update — fight in the 11th hour
Metro DC DSA Monthly GBM THIS SUNDAY, September 19 at 3pm
MDC DSA’s monthly General Body Meeting is Sunday, September 19 at 3pm. During our monthly meetings, our various workgroups, sections and committees provide key updates on campaigns and other activities. The General Body Meetings are a great place to get to know chapter members and get plugged into ongoing chapter campaigns.
Come hear statements from the two candidates running in the Special Election for the vacancy on the Steering Committee (see briefing below). Make sure to ask them questions in the chapter slack in the #2021-steering-committee-special-election channel.
Also, we will hear from our Green New Deal priority campaign and the inclusion of a new chapter formation: We Power DC. One of their major goals is to put the ownership of PEPCO in the hands of the community. Additionally, there’s an important update to the governance structure of the campaign that will make it even easier to get involved and help continue the success of this priority campaign.
We can’t spoil all the fun here so make sure to RSVP and attend the General Body Meeting on September 19th!
National PRO Act campaign and Green Infrastructure push enter the 11th hour — bring home a win for the working class
The national infrastructure bill fight is in its 11th hour with Congress now in the final bargaining stages over the major budget reconciliation bill — which could invest trillions of dollars to shape the terrain of this country for the next decade. Earlier this year, DSA made over one million phone calls to push for the PRO Act, which would give organized labor the tools to grow and take power once more. Then, we launched the Green New Deal for Public Schools campaign, to organize for massive investment in green public infrastructure for the working class. Major parts of the PRO Act and GND4PS have made it into the House and Senate budget reconciliation bills — but there are forces working to weaken language or strip out our hard work.
These remaining few weeks are a critical time to bring the heat on Reps and demand they keep the PRO Act and GND4PS’s presence in the bill. Over 50 DSA chapters are organizing on the ground with labor allies, and this weekend, comrades across the country are going all hands on deck on the phones to reach voters to pressure key targets in Congress. Our chapter is hosting a phonebank session on Sunday from 5 to 8pm — are you ready to fill up some voicemails? Sign up for a call shift at bit.ly/greennewphones! Let’s bring home some big wins for the working class.
MDC DSA releases statement on September 18th Global #BoycottPuma Day of Action, in solidarity with Palestinian activists
Metro DC DSA published a statement today affirming its support for the September 18th Global #BoycottPuma Day of Action and urging its members to boycott Puma and sign a petition demanding that the company end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA). The statement was also signed by several other DSA chapters and national working groups as well as some of our allied organizations. It reads in part:
Puma is the main sponsor of the IFA, an institution which includes six teams in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land. The IFA has repeatedly rejected calls from UN advisors, elected officials, and human rights groups to end its complicity in illegal Israeli settlements which directly restrict Palestinians’ freedom of movement on their own land …
As socialists, we recognize that working class liberation is intertwined with anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles, and we fully support the Palestinian call for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction of institutions and companies complicit in Israeli apartheid until Palestinians have freedom, justice and equality.
Puma’s sponsorship of the IFA whitewashes Israeli human rights abuses and legitimizes the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. Israel has a history of targeting, imprisoning, and killing Palestinian soccer players, denying Palestinians freedom of movement, and preventing Palestinians from importing soccer equipment and developing their own sports facilities.
Puma masquerades as a company that cares about equality, yet it funds Israeli apartheid through its sponsorship of the IFA … We join the September 18th Global #BoycottPuma Day of Action by calling on all our members and allies to sign the #BoycottPuma petition and join the BDS movement in boycotting Puma!
Local Steering Elections Information
From MDC DSA Secretary: Nominations have closed for the chapter Special Election to fill one vacancy on the Steering Committee. There are two candidates for this election:
- Karishma Mehta
- Michael Marmol
At least one virtual candidates town hall session is planned before the election period begins; 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. Please follow #september-2021-steering-committee-special-election for updates.
Per the revised MDC DSA bylaws passed at the 2020 local convention, a new Steering Committee will be elected in the course of the 2021 local convention now scheduled for December 11 – 12 and will serve for one year.
Stop the right wing’s return to Washington – Sept 18
We are just over eight months out from the violent attempts by Donald Trump and his right-wing gangs to usurp democracy. 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 for weeks — their attacks routinely harming residents of the DMV (including MDC DSA members).
Though it’s unclear if this rally will be large (prior attempts by the right to rally over the last few months have been embarrassing duds), District residents plan to stage counter-protests in order to make sure DC residents know that fascists are not welcome here.
Here’s the guidance if you’d like to join out in the streets:
- Counterprotesters are rallying at Freedom Plaza (14th & Pennsylvania NW) between 12pm and 4pm. There are plans to have music, food, community care, and education opportunities.
- Food Not Bombs — a local organization which distributes aid across the city — plans to be active at McPherson Square from 2:30 to 5pm. They have put out an open call for volunteer support.
- Though not related to these demonstrations, Wards 1 and 2 Mutual Aid and the People for Fairness Coalition are hosting their rescheduled Peace Day event at Malcolm X Park at 4pm. A great opportunity to meet neighbors and build community — the strongest defense against fascism.
Though there’s little evidence that the threat of violence is anywhere near where it was last year, be cautious. Remember to stay cool and follow trusted community activists for guidance. More than anything fascists want attention — don’t do their marketing for them. (Read more from DCist.)
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 email@example.com with questions!
DSA’s Restaurant Organizing Project
The Restaurant Organizing Project (ROP), a campaign under the Democratic Socialist Labor Commission (a national body) aims to bring wide scale support to food service workers looking to unionize. The project is relaunching monthly meetings (temporarily on hold due to a summer hiatus) set to begin next Tuesday, September 21st, at 7e/4p. The Democratic Socialist Labor Commission will be hosting speakers from multiple coffee and donut shops that have attempted to unionize this past year, some successfully and some not, to field thinking on what can be taken away from their experiences and where food service labor organizing goes from here.
Those working in the restaurant industry — or who are interested allies of the project — are invited to join!
Lefty publication looking for paid writers and volunteer editors
New publication looking for paid writers and volunteer editors! After the Storm focuses on putting out long-form stories and essays that reimagine what our world would look like after capitalism, patriarchy, racism, ableism and other systems of oppression have been overcome. We want stories that not only imagine what that future looks like but also how we get there. Check out the submission guide or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington now offers at-home abortion medication
PPMW began offering the at-home abortion pill, mifepristone, on August 12. The service is now fully available to anyone who is physically in DC, Maryland or Virginia at the time of their remote visit, and who provides a mailing address in any of those three jurisdictions. Learn more here.
Publications Schedule: One more Friday Update is scheduled this month, on the 24th, and 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. October Updates are scheduled Fridays, October 8, 15 and 22 and the November issue of the Washington Socialist will be published Friday, October 29.
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 our engagement with internationalism, from solidarity on climate to disarray on refugee issues. 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.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Going forward, we’ll be putting the National DSA and local DSA events into one Calendar list.
Sunday, September 19
1 – 2pm | Veterans for Socialism
3 – 5pm | MDC DSA September General Body Meeting
Monday, September 20
5:30 – 6:30pm | Food Justice WG Monthly Meeting
7 – 8pm | Defund MPD Working Group Meeting
Tuesday, September 21
6 – 7pm | We Power DC Launch Call
Thursday, September 23
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Friday, September 24
8 – 9pm | A Town Hall on Jamal Bowman’s Green New Deal for Public Schools
(National DSA event)
National Educators United & the Democratic Socialists of America is holding a town hall featuring Professor Akira Drake Rodriguez, policy expert and coauthor of the Green New Deal for Public Schools Act, in conversation with labor sociologist Eric Blanc, author of Red State Revolt.
Saturday, September 25
Monday, September 27
Tuesday, September 28
7 – 8pm | Defund MPD Comms meeting
Wednesday, September 29
6:30 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Research meeting
7 – 8:30pm | Workplace Organizing Workshop — September
Thursday, September 30
6 – 7:30pm | NoVA Cannabis Justice meeting
6:30 – 8:30pm | Joint Steering/Campaigns Council quarterly meeting
Racial Equity in Practice | DC Grassroots Planning Coalition
On Saturday, September 18 from 1 – 3pm, join the DC Grassroots Planning Coalition for a meeting and discussion of Racial Equity in Practice: Implementing the Comprehensive Plan’s new “racial equity lens” requirements.
Reel and Meal Us Kids Screening
On Monday, September 20, Reel and Meal will broadcast a screening of Us Kids, a coming of age story about the young survivors of the 2018 Parkland, Florida mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school who organized and traveled to stop gun violence. 6:45pm start.
Alternatives to the Maglev: Equitable Transit for Marylanders
On Tuesday, September 21, join a conversation on an equitable transit future for all of Maryland, and why the proposed Baltimore-Washington Maglev project is wrong for the region. We’ll cover numerous transit solutions currently being considered and answer questions you may have. Sponsors/guests: National Parks Conservation Association, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, the West Baltimore Project and Dels. Jared Solomon and Robbyn Lewis.
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
A conservative policy analyst has a different take on the importance of work as a concept in the policy arena. It would be useful to see the framing of questions at the focus groups mentioned, but scope has a feeling of thoroughness. “Working-class parents don’t want to dramatically increase or shrink the size of government but want to improve how it works on their behalf — to make work pay, expand the options available to them and help them afford the ever-increasing [perceived?] cost of living.” But, the writer of this pretty even-tempered account acknowledges, “Working-class parents’ feelings on work and parenthood don’t comfortably fit a partisan script …”
A good listen from this week’s Community Watch — one of the best locally made shows on WPFW’s (89.3: DC’s local lefty radio station). On Tuesday’s show, local community leaders discussed public safety, Muriel Bowser’s administration and the difference between progressives, liberals and lefties in local politics.
An update from Liza Featherstone at Jacobin lays out a perspective on DSA’s campaign for a Green New Deal for Public Schools and the struggle to wedge into portions of the reconciliation bill: “A major socialist-led grassroots campaign is underway to pass Jamaal Bowman’s Green New Deal for Public Schools — a strategically savvy measure that combines forthright climate action with large-scale investment in working-class schools.”
The comforting thought that the Big Bill, the ~3.5 Tr reconciliation measure, would be unitary under the watchful eye of Bernie is vanishing fast. Each element coming over from House committees will require a separate fight, it seems, including in the critical area of housing, as we read in this (moderately hopeful) piece from the American Prospect.
A detailed report from the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies shows that “Twenty years after 9/11, the War on Terror has contributed to thoroughly militarized foreign and domestic policies at a cost of $21 trillion over the last two decades.” The report, whose three authors include our comrade Ashik S, details the mis-spending over 20 years of public panic-inducement and private greed and outlines how much good that money could have done if directed to human needs.
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.