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NOVEMBER 5, 2021
Election roundup — DSA-endorsed candidates win, centrists lose
Annual chapter convention set for December 11
Greenbelt reparations referendum passes — MDC DSA statement
Election roundup — endorsed DSA candidates win across country, centrists lose in VA
Across the country, DSA candidates succeeded in establishing and safeguarding footholds in local governments across the country. Though DSA candidate and avowed socialist India Walton failed to overcome a D-R team-up in the Buffalo mayoral race, 26 nationally endorsed DSA campaigns were victorious on November 2, including Richie Floyd, the first democratic socialist to win election in Florida, and an entire slate of DSA-endorsed candidates in Minneapolis. You can find a roundup of national victories on Washington Socialist.
Election night 2021 produced mixed results for Democratic centrists. Former VA governor Terry McAuliffe failed to produce a positive message to turn out a voter base to surmount a right-wing surge. Though Terry McAuliffe generated more votes than any Democratic gubernatorial candidate in VA history, the campaign’s lack of a motivating policy platform failed to generate the enthusiasm necessary to overcome a surge of Republican voters. (In better news, Tidewater DSA endorsed Nadarius Clark won his election over in Richmond, ousting a conservative Democrat, becoming the youngest delegate elected).
Socialists and progressives should be sure to contrast moderate losses in VA to Democrats’ positive performance in — of all places — New Jersey. Over the last four years, New Jersey had swung wildly to the left: legalizing marijuana, expunging criminal records for pot charges, raising the minimum wage, establishing a public bank (!), extending licenses to undocumented immigrants and making community college free for Jersey residents. Voters rewarded Governor Murphy — who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders — with a win, with Murphy’s campaign running up highest margins in dense and working-class segments of the state (and Democrats are looking like their majority will be held comfortably in the state house).
And back in Congress: The New York Times throughline on the two-bill tangle late Thursday afternoon is “Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants a vote as soon as Thursday night on a $1.85 trillion social policy and climate bill, but moderates are pushing back.” Can you doubt they’ll still be updating this Friday morning? Just click … Will Rogers: “There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.”
Annual chapter convention set for December 11
MDC DSA’s annual chapter convention is set for Saturday, December 11, and, if necessary, Sunday, December 12. The steering committee has approved steering member Kareem E as convention chair, and the first meeting of the Commission that will oversee the convention is set for this weekend. MDC DSA members who would like to volunteer for what is typically a wide range of preconvention tasks — logistics and technology among them — are invited to DM Kareem on Slack. The election of the 2022 Steering Committee takes place concurrently with the convention but is overseen by a separate body. Keep an eye out for a registration signup soon.
MDC DSA statement: Greenbelt referendum to create a reparations commission passes with support from local DSA chapter
On November 2, voters in Prince George’s County voted (63% to 27%) to establish a commission to study options for paying reparations to Black and Native American residents.
Metro DC DSA released a statement on Wednesday, November 3rd:
The Metro DC chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) was an early endorser of the measure. The local Prince George’s County DSA branch — an affiliate of Metro DC DSA — led the coalition to organize around the initiative, mobilizing dozens of volunteers and coordinating outreach efforts in the weeks prior to the election. The issue of reparations is a key component of the national DSA platform, due to the long legacy of white supremacy in the United States.
Emily Frias, a Greenbelt resident and member of the Prince George’s DSA steering committee who helped lead the coalition, said, “I’m very proud of the work our volunteers have done to bring awareness to this issue and address the city’s history of racism, segregation, and hostility toward African Americans. We showed that, overwhelmingly, everyday people share the principles of justice and repair that the creation of this commission represents.”
Previous attempts by Byrd to introduce the measure as a city ordinance earlier this year were stymied, with council members stating that they were uncertain the measure had broad support. Yet as of today, with an overwhelming majority of voters saying yes to the commission, the new city council has been given the important task of appointing the commission’s members and overseeing its work in the coming term.
You can read the full press release here.
Endorsement questionnaires received
The Chapter’s Political Engagement Committee 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)
- McKayla Wilkes, who is running for Congress in Maryland’s Fifth Congressional district
- Brandy Brooks, who is running for Montgomery County Council At-Large
- Jason Fowler, who is running for Maryland State Senate in District 27 (Calvert, Charles and Prince George’s Counties)
- Lisa Burnam, who is running for Prince George’s County Council, District 9 (Accokeek, Brandywine, Clinton, Fort Washington, Upper Marlboro)
- Rashad Lloyd, who is running for Maryland State Senate in District 22 (Greenbelt, Hyattsville, New Carrollton)
- Zachary Parker, who is running for the DC Council in Ward 5
- Gabriel Acevero, who is running for the Maryland House of Delegates 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.
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. Resolutions in support of candidates must be submitted via Red Desk by November 14. 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.
Questions: Chapter members can email email@example.com or post their questions in the #electoral channel. Members can also message the Political Engagement Committee members on Slack directly. Slack usernames for members of the PEC are: @irene (she/her) (Chair), @Abel A., @Brian W. (he/him), @amortell and @Nicole Z (she/her).
Socialist Night School is back in session — 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!
DSA Socialist Feminist working group meeting — Monday, November 8 at 8pm
Join the national DSA SocFem General Meeting on Monday, November 8 at 8pm ET to discuss how to fight reactionary abortion bans, and more broadly, the continuing fight for reproductive justice. On the subject, we will hear from Marxist feminist author Tithi Bhattacharya, and Elise Higgins, the vice president of the Kansas Abortion Fund.
DSA Animal Liberation Working Group to host Night School presentation — Wednesday, November 10 at 8:30pm
The new [National] DSA Animal Liberation Working Group is hosting its first informational Night School presentation on November 10th at 8:30pm ET. The presentation will be an introduction to the theory of Animal Liberation and its significance to the socialist project, the need for an anti-capitalist framework within the animal rights movement and how socialists seeking to build a radically egalitarian society can see the question of animal liberation as integral to this broader vision. Register here for the Zoom link.
Chapter merch shop open for business
Metro DC DSA is pleased to announce that our merch shop is open for business! We are starting with a small amount of items and will expand the store from here. Hop on in and order yourself and your friends some chapter, branch and campaign swag!
Red Desk Overview: Red Desk is the central help portal for our chapter where members can submit requests for events, social media posts, and more. If you’re involved with our chapter’s working groups/campaigns and need a quick introduction or refresher on how to navigate Red Desk, we now have a general overview video that can walk you through using the portal!
Publications Schedule: Weekly Updates are scheduled for Fridays, November 12, 19 and (tentative) 26. The December issue of the Washington Socialist will be published Friday, December 3. Finish that article you’ve been sweating over on the day after turkey day and submit by November 26 to meet the article deadline; hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, check out the November issue.
What kind of articles appear in the Washington Socialist? Refresh your memory in our indexed archive.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Friday, November 5
Sunday, November 7
5 – 6:30pm | Green New Deal for Public Schools Meeting
Monday, November 8
5:30 – 7:30pm | MDC DSA Socialist Night School — What Is Socialism?
8 – 9pm | National DSA Socialist Feminist working group
We will be discussing how to fight reactionary abortion bans, and more broadly, the continuing fight for reproductive justice. On the subject, we will hear from marxist feminist author Tithi Bhattacharya, and Elise Higgins, the vice president of the Kansas Abortion Fund.
Tuesday, November 9
7 – 8pm | Defund MPD Comms Meeting
Wednesday, November 10
6:30 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Research Meeting
6:30 – 8pm | Virtual Game Night, hosted by NoVA Branch
Thursday, November 11
Sunday, November 14
3 – 5pm | Metro DC DSA General Body Meeting
Monday, November 15
6 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Working Group meeting
Wednesday, November 17
7 – 9pm | PG County Branch DSA GBM
Saturday, November 20
12 – 5pm | DSA at the DC Punk Rock Flea Market
Metro DC DSA will be tabling at the annual DC punk rock flea market. Free to enter, please bring canned food to donate.
Sunday, November 21
5 – 6:30pm | Green New Deal for Public Schools Meeting
Monday, November 22
Tuesday, November 23
6 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Comms meeting
Wednesday, November 24
6:30 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Research meeting
Thursday, November 25
7:30 – 8:30pm | Defund MPD organizational outreach meeting
Sunday, November 28
Monday, November 29
7 – 8pm | Defund MPD Working Group meeting
COVID-19 Vaccine Approved for Children Ages 5 to 11 | DC Health
Sites across DC will this week begin offering initial doses of the pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Families are encouraged to check providers’ websites and coronavirus.dc.gov for more information about which sites have received their doses and have started vaccinating children. Click here for a full list of vaccination sites across DC, sorted by ward. Starting next week schools will also begin hosting pop-up vaccine clinics for children ages 5 to 11. These sites won’t require appointments, will operate after-school and will require a parent/guardian present.
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.
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: Saturday, November 6 at Columbia Heights Market; Sunday, November 11 at DuPont Market.
Mutual Aid Flea Market | Heal Da Homies
On Sunday, November 14, Heal Da Homies will be hosting their Mutual Aid Flea Market in Adams Morgan Plaza from noon to 4pm. All proceeds will go to support HDH programs, such as their weekly encampment food distribution. If you have donations of clothing, books or home goods to be sold, DM HDH to arrange for drop off. If you are an artist willing to donate jewelry, prints, painted clothing or any other art form, please fill out this form.
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
Milt Tambor, a longtime Detroit DSA member and union leader, has published a memoir that includes numerous practical lessons on organizing. From the Detroit Socialist via Portside.
Ryan Grim of The Intercept breaks down a failed Lincoln Project stunt in the Virginia Governor race that sent white supremacist lookalikes in front of Glenn Youngkin’s campaign bus as it docked in Charlottesville, Virginia. From The Intercept.
The week in US unions, October 23 – 30, by Jonah Furman from the “Who Gets the Bird?” substack. Weekly newsletter covering strikes & negotiations, politics & legislation and new organizing.
A new academic-activist coalition on filibuster reform provides an article-length explainer and huge resource links. Especially relevant as we fume over the GOP’s blocking a third try at voting rights legislation.
We mentioned Catherine Liu’s short, sharp ream-out book on the “professional managerial class” in a recent GOOD READS; here is a review of the book via Portside.
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.