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October 29, 2021
Reconciliation fight roundup
Reimagining Public Space Without Police — tomorrow, 1PM in DC
Endorsement questionnaires received from candidates
Reconciliation fight roundup
As of Thursday afternoon, Biden had finished another visit with Congressional Dems and declared (from the White House) a $1.75 trillion reconciliation bill. David Dayen, editor of The American Prospect (and a DSA member), laid out the latest what’s in-what’s out count. His analysis is keyed to questions we might ask. Working people lost a round or two in this latest iteration but their kids are not looking bad. Preschool and child tax credits remain (though the child care credits are set to expire, only preschool care is set to become the new universal commitment); there’s over half a trillion bucks for climate change mitigation, much of it renewables tax incentives. Medicaid is also set to get an expansion to those in states whose right-wing governors haven’t expanded it. And here is the New York Times rundown.
There’s still a lot that’s unclear — including tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy, which look like are being paired down. Distrust that the bill will pass as intended has caused Bernie Sanders to reiterate his warning to House Progressives to hold off a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless the reconciliation bill is included with it.
The House Progressive Caucus signaled its commitment to hold the line — voting on the infrastructure bill only if the Build Back Better Act is included. “The CPC just overwhelmingly voted to endorse, in principle, the entire Build Back Better Act framework announced by President Biden today. We appreciate the President’s leadership and his commitment to getting this process over the finish line. … Members of our Caucus will not vote for the infrastructure bill without the Build Back Better Act. We will work immediately to finalize and pass both pieces of legislation through the House together.” Full statement via Twitter. Rep AOC explained why just voting on the bipartisan infrastructure bill is not sufficient. Rep AOC laid out (on environmental grounds) the BBB and infrastructure bill must be passed together.
The fight has been messy and is likely to jade many socialists and progressives. This could have been an opportunity to significantly make life better for the American working class. Rep Ilhan Omar released an analysis through Twitter detailing the high-cost corporate campaign designed to collapse the bill’s original scope.
Some good news — citing protests from Howard University students, Sen Chris Coons (D-DE) stated that expanded funding for HBCUs is likely to be included in the bill. Additionally, it looks like the Harris Rider — the provision passed in the yearly budget appropriations bill that prevented DC from legalizing marijuana — is unlikely to be included in the final bill.
Reimagining Public Space Without Police — this Saturday, October 30
As District residents, we are often told that we need more police to make our city feel safe and vibrant. But from the many care spaces we have — from mutual aid networks to community gardens to artist collectives — it’s clear that we know how to be there for each other.
On Saturday, October 30th from 1 to 4pm in Ward 5’s Alethia Tanner Park, join Metro DC DSA’s Defund MPD working group to imagine what public space without police might look like in DC. Using art and speculative fiction practices, we’ll be convening attendees to share and build a collective vision for moving beyond police.
Following canvasses the Defund MPD coalition has been engaging in, this event is planning to fold in neighbors and community members surrounding Alethia Tanner Park. See more here!
Endorsement Questionnaires Received from Candidates
As part of the chapter’s electoral candidate endorsement process, our Political Engagement Committee (PEC) is required to share completed endorsement questionnaires that candidates have submitted. Those completed questionnaires, along with additional information about our chapter’s endorsement process, are below.
The PEC has received the following electoral endorsement questionnaires for the 2022 primary cycle:
- Saqib Ali, who is running for Maryland House of Delegates in District 15 (North Potomac, Poolesville, Clarksburg)
- Oye Owolewa, who is running for re-election as the Shadow US Representative for the District of Columbia
- Carleah Summers, who is running for Congress in Maryland’s Sixth Congressional district.
- Max Socol, who is running for Maryland State Senate in District 18 (Silver Spring, Wheaton, Kensington, Chevy Chase)
- Adam Cunningham, who is running for Maryland State Senate in District 39 (Germantown, Montgomery Village)
Chapter members are encouraged to contact other members who may be interested in co-sponsoring an endorsement resolution in support of these candidates. At least five chapter members are required to co-sponsor an endorsement resolution before that resolution can move forward in our endorsement process. Please coordinate with chapter members to organize for support of a candidate endorsement in the #electoral channel on Slack.
The deadline for candidates to submit questionnaires is November 1, 2021. Please share this deadline with any candidates you know are interested in a Metro DC DSA endorsement in the 2022 primary cycle. This deadline will give chapter members sufficient time to review questionnaires and submit endorsement resolutions before our November General Body Meeting on November 14. Per our chapter’s bylaws, five chapter members must submit a resolution in support of the candidate to be considered for an endorsement by the full body. After a first read at the November GBM, the membership will hear from candidates during the 2021 local convention in December and vote on endorsements via OpaVote.
The endorsement questionnaire is available here (PDF here). To submit an endorsement questionnaire, please email email@example.com. An overview of our Metro DC DSA endorsement process has been added to the endorsements page of the chapter’s website, where you can also find a more detailed endorsement handbook.
The carceral state stretches from the privatized US prison-industrial complex, living example of settler colonialism, to the parallel near-extrajudicial oppression of Palestineans by the state of Israel — again, settler colonialism. The capitalist roots of, and socialist remedies for, some of our many unacknowledged crimes. “All Prisoners Are Political” by Alex M.
The residual racism embedded in many place names around the country could well include the name Arlington. The whys and wherefores of steady expungement of those memories and how close to home it could get, so “While We’re Changing Names — Should ‘Arlington’ Go Next?” by Bill M.
Terry McAuliffe, former governor come back to give it another go in Virginia, is acknowledged by socialists as no prize. But Glenn Youngkin? And the race appears close. Some of our Virginia comrades gave their thoughts on how to deal with this question, strategically and emotionally, as Election Day looms next Tuesday.
The internal combustion engine is a big contributor to the carbon crisis. An inventive new book uses a technology lens to show how the automobile took over US — and world — culture in a surprisingly multifaceted way with capitalism guiding events at every turn, even toward the future. Reviewed by Woody W.
“October Evergreens” — quite a few of our GOOD READS from October’s issues have lasting value (once you filter out the ephemeral articles about That Bill In Congress). Enjoy the keepers in our roundup.
AND — DSA candidates are running for office around the country. We’ll be keeping track of the wins and losses using this utility on Washington Socialist.
Prince William County Mutual Aid distribution event — TOMORROW at 9am
From NoVA branch: We have an amazing opportunity for mutual aid via the Defund working group. Prince William Mutual Aid is hosting a distribution event this Saturday, October 30 from 9am to 4pm — signup form is here.
Virginians — have you voted? Election Day NEXT TUESDAY — November 2
Elections are taking place next week in Virginia. Though Metro DC DSA has not endorsed any candidates this cycle, there are many important elections at both the top and bottom of the ticket that all registered VA voters should take serously! For VA voters, here are some additional resources to help you get to the polls (and make an informed decision about who you are voting for):
- you can check out I Will Vote to find your polling place or sign-up for updates
- The Virginia Department of Elections to find more info on Absentee voting or to check registration status
- The Virginia Public Access Project is a great resource to help find info on candidates, elections, and follow the money that’s moving through the election
- New Virginia Majority for grassroots engagement and support (though not a socialist or strictly left-wing outfit, some might find the resource useful for keeping up-to-date on local issues in VA)
This month in Washington Socialist, we published an article that asks some local socialists how they’re voting in the Virginia governor elections. You can read that here.
Additionally, there are a bunch of high profile DSA races happening across the country. We’re going to track how those races go using a utility developed on Washington Socialist. You can check on that on election day to follow outcomes of those races.
Invitation: Facilitation Training from the Political Education Workgroup — Thursday, November 4 at 8pm
The Political Education Workgroup invites you to the second virtual Facilitation Training on Thursday, November 4th from 8 to 9:30pm!
This training is for members interested in improving their skills as a meeting facilitator. The training will familiarize attendees with the skills to facilitate a successful discussion, including the principles of good facilitation, the purpose of having a facilitator, preparation needed to facilitate a good meeting, techniques for facilitating an online training and more.
This training is oriented toward political education and is designed as a resource for fall 2021 and future reading groups — but the techniques covered in the training will apply across organizing work. It will cover the same material as the previous session on October 6th. Sign up here and see you there!
Socialist Night School: What Is Socialism? — Monday, November 8 at 5:30pm
For our first session of the new semester of Socialist Night School, we’ll tackle the question of socialism. The session will define capitalism and socialism, cover what DSA does to help get us to a socialist future, and how you get involved (or more involved) in DSA.
While everyone is welcome, this session is designed for newer members and those who are relatively new to socialism. The session will be led by Socialist Night School co-organizer David Kaib. Find meeting information and register in advance here!
MDC DSA annual convention set Dec. 11 – 12 as Steering Committee passes enabling resolution
MDC DSA’s annual convention deliberates sense-of-the-chapter resolutions and amends existing bylaws from proposals submitted by members or groups of members, and the 2021 convention (Dec. 11 – 12) also is the occasion for the election of the 2022 Steering Committee. A four-member commission will oversee and manage the convention, headed by Steering member Kareem E. The Steering election will be concurrently managed by a separately constituted internal election administrative department in AdCom.
Food | Justice Working Group Breaks Ground on the “Rose Garden”
Last weekend, members of Metro DSA’s Food | Justice Working Group broke ground on a future community space at Upshur Community Garden. The “Rose Garden,” as it’s been lovingly dubbed, will be a space for Working Group members (and guests!) to learn more about growing, respecting the land and environment and holding space for community. At their first working day, the group cleared a space previously inhabited with stubborn crab grass and planted soil-enriching cover crops in its place. In the spring, the Rose Garden will provide fresh produce to Ward 4 Mutual Aid.
November Updates are scheduled for Friday the 5th, 12th, 19th and (tentatively) 26th, and the December (and MDC DSA Convention) Washington Socialist issue is scheduled for Friday, December 3. Article submission deadline for the December newsletter is November 27th; hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What belongs in the Washington Socialist? Your possible surprise should be followed by your determination to add to the mix. We are not the official voice of MDC DSA. Find out via our Topic Hub.
MDC DSA’s acclaimed Socialist Night School begins a new semester Monday, November 8 | 5:30 – 7:30pm | MDC DSA Socialist Night School — What Is Socialism?
For our first session, we’ll tackle the question of socialism. While everyone is welcome, this session is designed for newer members and those who are relatively new to socialism. The session will be led by Socialist Night School co-organizer David Kaib.
During the years, as MDC DSA’s Socialist Night School has enriched the local chapter’s understanding of where we are coming from and what we do every day as socialists, a deep archive on a wide variety of issues has developed — and is handily indexed on our website with some critical episodes transcribed. Dive in, and share it with not-yet-comrades who are curious about DSA.
Missing out on good socialist chatter because it’s on Slack and you are not? Paid-up DSA members can email email@example.com, headed “Slack access request,” and use the email address by which national DSA knows you.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Saturday, October 30
1 – 4pm | Reimagining Public Space Without the Police
What do we truly need to feel safe? Join members of MDC DSA at Alethia Tanner Park for a workshop to rethink how we can experience our city where everyone feels free of overpolicing and police abuse. Interested in volunteering for this workshop? Reach out to SelaLewis and Amanda L. (she/they) on our chapter’s Slack!
Sunday, October 31
Monday, November 8
5:30 – 7:30pm | MDC DSA Socialist Night School — What Is Socialism?
Sunday, November 14
Wednesday, November 17
Sunday, November 21
5 – 6:30pm | Green New Deal for Public Schools Meeting
Monday, November 22
Celebrate Halloween at Garfield Terrace Fundraiser | Ward 1 Mutual Aid
On October 29 from 5 to 10pm, Ward 1 Mutual Aid will be hosting a community Halloween party at Garfield Terrace (2301 11th St NW). Community solidarity isn’t just about supporting urgent needs, it’s also about making space for joy! Help Ward 1 Mutual Aid fill this event with joy and essential supplies by donating to their party planning fund via CashApp: $Ward1MutualAid or Venmo: Ward1-DCMutualAid. Organizers ask that you add the note “Halloween” to your donations.
Share Your Seeds! | Share a Seed
Share a Seed, a mutual aid seed sharing and gardening program run by one of DSA’s Food | Justice stewards, is collecting fall seeds! If you’ve got extra seeds from your summer/fall planting that you can spare, please share them! Share a Seed will be tabling (accepting sealed and labeled seeds) at the following farmers markets over the next few weeks: Saturday, October 30 at Mt Pleasant Market; Saturday, November 6 at Columbia Heights Market; Sunday, November 11 at DuPont Market.
Spread the Halloween Candy Love | HIPS DC
Got extra Halloween candy? Definitely going to eat all your candy, but open to picking up some extra to share? HIPS DC’s annual Candy Drive will take those sweets off your hands! If you are a business or individual with a bulk donation (5+ bags), email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a pickup.
Reproduction Reconceived Discussion with Author | Lost City Books
Monday, November 8 at 7:30pm, Lost City Books welcomes Sara Matthiesen as she discusses with Melinda Chateauvert Reproduction Reconceived: Family Making and the Limits of Choice after Roe v. Wade.
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
What Dune Should Teach Us About the Beauty of ‘Wastelands’ — In order to break away from the empty myth of the desert wasteland, we need to kindle collective understanding of the deep-rooted connections between sustainable drylands and a shared sustainable future. From Scientific American via Portside.
“In a recent campaign against the fossil-fuel industry, the Lummi showed that it’s possible to stop the march of industry and extraction — of growth at all costs.” In the NYT, E. Tammy Kim writes about the Lummi Nation’s fight to stop Canada from expanding a shipping port into the Salish Sea; another example of indigenous struggle against wanton environmental destruction by capital.
How a False Narrative Against Government Spending Shapes Legislation: The [policy] contents of the Build Back Better bill are extremely popular. But the relentless conservative propaganda against the bill requires a concerted effort to reshape the narrative. From Economy for All and Indymedia.
Sinema’s enigma — a Politico article tries to parse the near-silent Senate holdout against social spending by looking into her rise in Arizona state politics. It’s just win, baby.
“Centuries after colonial and corporate powers set the stage for our environmental crisis, governments remain convinced that the market will solve it,” Olufemi O. Taiwo writes in The New Yorker. “Our Planet Is Heating Up. Why Are Climate Politics Still Frozen?”
Rolling Stone reports: “Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff … Two sources are communicating with House investigators and detailed a stunning series of allegations to Rolling Stone, including a promise of a ‘blanket pardon’ from the Oval Office.”
While North Dakota shines as a great example of public banking, South Dakota is revealed as more like the Cayman Islands: a tax haven for the rich and covert. Chuck Collins, who runs the Inequality Project at IPS, gives us a primer on what we can expect from the Pandora Papers once the data dump dust settles.
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.