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November 12, 2021
MDC DSA General Body Meeting — this Sunday, 3pm
Annual chapter convention needs volunteers
Strathmore ticket sellers reach agreement with theater
Metro DC DSA Monthly Meeting to include review of submitted endorsement resolutions — this Sunday, 3pm
This Sunday is an important MDC DSA General Body Meeting, with discussion of electoral endorsements and preparation for the December MDC DSA chapter convention. Sign up now.
The majority of time at the general body meeting will include review of electoral endorsements for candidates who have submitted resolutions for chapter endorsement. Per our chapter’s bylaws, members must submit a resolution with five sponsors 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 this Sunday, November 14 at 2pm.
Candidates for whom endorsement resolutions with five nominations have been submitted thus far include:
- Brandy Brooks, who is running for Montgomery County Council At-Large
- Saqib Ali, who is running for Maryland House of Delegates in District 15 (North Potomac, Poolesville, Clarksburg)
Chapter members are encouraged to contact other members who may be interested in co-sponsoring an endorsement resolution in support of these candidates. Please coordinate with chapter members to organize for support of a candidate endorsement in the #electoral channel. Completed endorsement resolutions can be submitted through our chapter’s Red Desk system.
The Chapter’s Political Engagement Committee has received the following electoral endorsement questionnaires for the 2022 primary cycle:
- 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
- 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)
After the first read through of resolutions at this Sunday’s General Body Meeting, the membership will hear from candidates during individual conference calls with the candidates and the 2021 local convention in December before voting on endorsements via OpaVote (electronic voting).
Metro DC DSA’s annual convention is fast approaching, and we need your help to make it a success!
The MDC DSA convention is coming up and we are looking for 8-10 volunteers to help put the convention on and make it a success! No need for tech expertise. All that is needed is the ability to navigate web pages. The commitment is three two-hour trainings, one “dress rehearsal,” then the convention on December 11th. The roles for these volunteer positions roughly fall into the categories of:
- Motions and ballots. Confirm there are no typos or formatting errors in resolutions.
- Stack, parliamentarian. Handle stack requests and sort who speaks next.
- Support. Address support tickets. Either fix the problem a user is having or pass it off to someone who can.
- Credentials. Confirm folks can sign in and that they have appropriate voting power and access.
- Sunday 11/21 evening: Overview of system with project manager and any “core” members
- Sunday 11/28 evening: An in-depth overview of all features for all teams, with everyone volunteering in the system, broken up by teams
- Sunday 12/5 evening: Hands-on practice with everyone, broken up by teams
- Sometime between 12/4 and 12/10, depending on availability: “Dress rehearsal,” hands on practice with everyone, all together
Direct message @Ross (He/Him) on Slack if you have any questions or can help out!
Settled Strathmore! Strathmore ticket sellers have reached tentative agreement with theater
Via Union City: After two very long years and a 10-hour mediation session on Tuesday, “we are delighted to share the news that we have a tentative agreement with Strathmore!!!” reports IATSE Local 868 Secretary and Political Coordinator Jillian Gibson. “We succeeded in saving jobs, along with some other small gains. Thank you all for your hard work and encouragement on behalf of our Strathmore family, for the time you spent with us leafleting, carrying signs along Rockville Pike, and being there to support us. We really couldn’t have done this without all of you!”
DSA members have been joining workers at the Strathmore theater in Bethesda to demand that the expansion of ticket kiosks would not replace ticket sellers at the theater in Bethesda. Over the past year, workers and supporters had been handing out fliers and pamphlets to educate theater-goers of workers’ concerns.
Build Back Better bill in turmoil following Progressive Caucus stand down in Congress
Congress passed the measly $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill in the House last Friday, which is set to expand spending on roads, railways, bridges and other infrastructure across the country. The House Progressive Caucus was originally holding out on passing this bill to ensure it was passed alongside Biden’s trillion-dollar Build Back Better bill. The BBB bill — though largely gutted of its original scope and intent — includes much of the expanded spending meant to bring the US closer to climate neutrality, expand the social safety net, and bring relief to working families through child tax credits, paid family leave and universal pre-K. With passage of the “bipartisan” bill in Congress, Democrats have effectively forfeited their only leverage in ensuring the Build Back Better bill is not further gutted by corporate extremists Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema in the Senate. (Handwringing about “inflation,” Joe Manchin is now teasing that he will step away from the Build Back Better bill entirely, putting the entire Biden agenda in peril.)
The only members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who resisted the bill were Reps Ocasio-Cortez, Bowman, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley. An important reminder that sending true socialists to Congress is seemingly the only way to combat corporate interests. As faith in Democrats declines nationally, Democratic Socialists are working across the country to put committed representatives of the working-class into office. With centrist democrats failing to even defend their own feeble policies, organizing the working class is one of the few ways we can resist a lurch back to the fascist-right mobilized by President Trump just five years ago. If you are not a member of DSA — consider joining today — we need all the help we can get.
November organizing workshop
The Workplace Organizing Workshop is a monthly open space for workers interested in organizing their workplace. If you’re ready to take action at work, no matter where you are in this process, members from our labor working group will help you navigate next steps in the unionization process. The session will review steps, answer any questions, share do’s and don’t’s for successful organizing, hear advice from experienced organizers, and troubleshoot any issues. Attendees will also be connected with organizers to have ongoing follow-up. You can sign up to attend our November session here, happening Wednesday, November 17th at 6pm ET.
News from Somewhere: From Robert J McCarthy’s regular political column in The Buffalo News: “Carl Calabrese, the retired Albany lobbyist[,] on socialist [India] Walton’s 41% of the Buffalo vote: ‘If I’m head of the Democratic Socialists of America in New York, I’m not folding up shop yet.’”
COVID-19 Vaccine Approved for Children Ages 5 to 11
Sites across DC and the region are now 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. You can also check in with @_DCHealth on Twitter for real-time updates.
Click here to schedule a vaccine appointment through Montgomery County, MD.
For Prince George’s and Southern Maryland:
- For Calvert County Public Schools, click here.
- For Charles County Public Schools, click here.
- For St. Mary’s County Public Schools, click here.
- For Prince George’s County Public Schools, click here.
In Maryland generally, find a vaccine clinic in your area today. Virginia residents can navigate the VA government’s online portal here.
Confinement conditions in DC jail cause District to outsource its prison population
As (excellently) reported in DCist, DC announced this week that it will begin moving 400 jail residents to an out-of-state facility. Conditions of DC jail have been brought up for months. Inspections have consistently identified systemic failures at the DC jail, and diligent residents will recall that activists and those in the Defund MPD movement have been raising alarm over these conditions for months — though action seemed to only occur after white insurrectionists and their allies began complaining about the conditions over the last few months.
A recording of this week’s Council hearing on confinement issues was put online by Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen.
Join Metro DC DSA at the DC Punk Rock Flea Market — November 20
Metro DC DSA will be tabling at the annual DC punk rock flea market on Saturday, November 20th, from noon to 5pm. Come out to meet members of Metro DC DSA, learn about our campaigns, and purchase union-made shirts as well as handmade buttons to augment our campaign activities. Attendance is free for entry, but attendees are asked to bring canned food to donate.
Canned food donations will be provided to We Are Family, a DC non-profit that provides connection, services, and material support to seniors in DC.
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 19 and (tentatively) 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 kinds of articles appear in the Washington Socialist? Refresh your memory in our indexed archive.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
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
Thursday, November 18
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Saturday, November 20
11am – 5pm | Join the Picket Line with Kellogg’s Workers (Baltimore & Philly DSA)
noon – 5pm | DSA at the DC Punk Rock Flea Market
Monday, November 22
6 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD WG biweekly meeting
Tuesday, November 23
6 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Comms meeting
Wednesday, November 24
6:30 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Research meeting
Thursday, November 25
Monday, November 29
7 – 8pm | Defund MPD Working Group meeting
THANKFUL | Palm Collective et al
By granting families with their holiday dinner desires, the hope is that they will have more time for joy and love while missing loved ones taken by police violence. In our fight towards Black liberation, grief and joy are the tools that heal, protect and strengthen our communities. Donate via Cashapp ($PalmCollective) or Venmo (ThePalm) to help Black Empowerment Foundation, The Palm Collective DC, Sunrise Movement DC, Concerned Citizens DC and Heal Da Homies share holiday meals with families impacted by police brutality and gun violence.
Friendsgiving Market | Culture House, PLNTR, Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid
Enjoy a Sunday of fall fun, shopping with a dozen local vendors, classes and activities, live music, and food and drinks! The Friendsgiving Market is in partnership with Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid and will support their Winter Coat Drive. Pop Up market entry is free (suggested donation), and there are also various ticketed classes available. Please bring your new or very gently worn coat or a cash donation to help keep our neighbors warm this holiday season.
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 doing their final tabling of the year (accepting sealed and labeled seeds) this Sunday, November 11, at DuPont Circle Farmers Market.
Warder Street Clothing Shop | Ward 1 Mutual Aid & Da Boutique by Kadis
The Ward 1 Mutual Aid Park View Pod is teaming up with Da Boutique by Kadis to host a food & clothing swap on November 20 from noon to 4pm at the 3500 block of Warder Street NW. The event is completely free, and all are welcome! Contributions of clean, wearable clothes and vegan food are encouraged but not required.
Implementing Racial Equity in Planning & Zoning | DC Grassroots Planning Coalition & Empower DC
DC Grassroots Planning Coalition and Empower DC fought to require a “racial equity lens” to be built into city planning and zoning in the revised plan. So far, this new mandate has NOT been implemented, and now we’re pushing for meaningful enforcement of the policy. Join us Saturday, November 13th, from 1 to 3pm to gameplan our implementation campaign. MDC DSA is a member of the Grassroots Planning Coalition.
Labor Notes Organizer training starts Monday, Nov 15 | Secrets of a Successful Organizer November Workshop Series
Join Labor Notes for three Zoom trainings based on our widely acclaimed book, Secrets of a Successful Organizer. Sessions are Mondays from 7:30 to 9:30pm ET (4:30 to 6:30pm PT) on November 15, 22 and 29; please attend all three. Donation ($15 for all three sessions) requested; negotiable. Once you register, you will receive a link to join via Zoom.
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
Sara Nelson, a union leader who’s been unafraid to speak at DSA events, gets a New York Times pulpit to urge Democrats to get pro-worker judges on the bench while they still have a majority. “With the help of conservative judges, corporations have systematically weakened labor laws for decades, leaving workers fewer and fewer tools to hold their bosses accountable.”
Flash in the pan? After all, Sara Nelson will probably not get a weekly column in the NYT anytime soon. But she’s also quoted, coincidentally, in Ben Smith’s NYT media column the same day about the resurgence in dedicated labor media: “sympathetic coverage of unions can fill strike funds, put pressure on companies and bolster workers’ morale. ‘I can’t tell you how much that coverage means to people in the middle of a strike,’ [Nelson] said.” Smith’s column was reposted in Portside.
Adam Tooze, one of our most astute writers on the economics of right now, takes a look at where official inaction on climate is leading some increasingly enraged activists. In “Ecological Leninism: Andreas Malm’s post-pandemic climate politics,” Tooze writes: “the historical analogy he [Malm] prefers to draw is with the First World War and its aftermath, a world defined by the upheaval of revolution and the violence of fascism — the beginning, not the end of an age of crisis.” Malm’s latest book, considered here, is How to Blow Up a Pipeline.
Historian Jill Lepore, writing in the NYT, has fun with the really, really rich guys and their misplaced science-fiction fetishes — showing in the process her respect for the genre, in which Masters of the Universe are unlikely to bring optimal outcomes …
Can democracy handle the truth? In this rumination from The Guardian, the failure of nominally democratic societies to perform at COP-26 brings despair. “The veteran Earth scientist James Lovelock puts his faith in eco-authoritarianism. Climate change is so severe, he has said, that ‘it may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while’.”
Varoufakis stands out among the exasperated observers of COP-26: “This is why polluters adore net zero targets: because they are a brilliant cover for not restricting emissions. … Workers around the world are now paying the cost to nature that the capitalist market never bore.”
Want the full dope on the Glasgow COP-26 meeting, good, bad and ugly? This roundup from The Conversation, “Progress or Greenwash,” has more than you could possibly want to know. And from the same source, the appalling (and exempted) contribution of militaries to climate degradation.
Earlier this year, Jacobin collaborated with YouGov to survey working-class voting behavior in the United States — in conjunction with the newly formed Center for Working-Class Politics — with the goal of finding out how progressive and socialist candidates can mobilize the working class. Read “Commonsense Solidarity: How a Working-Class Coalition Can Be Built, and Maintained.”
Our comrade Jules B notes: Georgetown [University] Breaks Worker Justice Ground with New Construction Procurement Policy — from the Catholic Labor Network.
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.