November 26, 2021

NOVEMBER 26, 2021



  • Build Back Better bill passes through House, battle continues in Senate

  • DSA national statement on Rittenhouse acquittal

  • Nominations for Metro DC DSA leadership elections opens

Build Back Better Bill advances to fight in the Senate

Build Back Better legislation passed the House just a few weeks ago — leaving the state of Joe Biden’s platform up to the Senate. Lefties and socialists are right to be disappointed in the size of the BBB which excludes much of the significant policy platforms that Biden promised to voters. However, much of the funding will help shore up state and local financing as well as deliver a few big victories to the working class: $300b to establish a Civilian Climate Corps (a staple of the Green New Deal); $65b for public housing expansion; $10b for high-speed rail expansion; and near free pre-K for low and middle income families. 

From POLITICO Playbook, Wednesday before T-Day: “STATE OF PLAY As lawmakers are out of the Capitol this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, legislators return to heightened stakes: ‘Here’s one place where Republicans could cause real problems for Democrats. After debating the legislation for up to 20 hours, senators can introduce limitless numbers of amendments and force votes with little debate,’ AP’s Alan Fram writes. ‘GOP goals will be twofold. They can force changes weakening the bill by winning over just one Democrat. And they can offer amendments that lose but gain ammunition for next year’s midterm elections by putting Democrats on record against popular-sounding ideas.’” Only a few other things on the Senate plate, like raising the debt limit and passing a military authorization, so they have time to dawdle, we guess.

MDC DSA New Jersey Expat brigade, activate your networks — NJ Rep. Josh Gottheimer was a ringleader of the neolib-Dem vote-blackmail putsch that put state and local property tax deductions (SALT) back into the tax code via BBB after they were capped by Trump in one of the few good things embedded in the Orange One’s tax giveaway. Now that BBB is in the Senate, the above-referenced Playbook tells us, Bernie is going to be “adjusting” the SALT giveaway. Gottheimer argues he is trying to help tax-burdened local homeowners, but real estate and development interests top his list of contributors and, of course, how are they going to build and sell overpriced, oversized housing if the taxes are a burden, boo-hoo. Help Bernie keep the tax code more equitable and tell Josh G to take his medicine.

Our local publications team is keeping an eye on these negotiations. You can follow the development of BBB negotiations by checking out our roundup in WS last month.

DSA national releases statement on Rittenhouse acquittal

Last week, the National Political Committee (DSA’s nationally elected leadership) released a statement on the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager who had murdered two protesters during Black Lives Matter protests last year. The statement reiterated the DSA’s commitment to fighting both capitalism and systems which propagate white supremacy:

The institutions of this country were not designed for justice or real democracy, but the right would like to use violence to destroy the little democratic space that has been hard-won by generations of struggle against this country’s institutions of power …

… the only way justice has been won and defended throughout history has been working people getting organized together to fight for a different future, joining together to dismantle white supremacy that divides the multi-racial working class, and makes traitorous collaborators of its reactionary white elements.

You can read the full statement here.

It’s tempting to gawk at this event with gloom, but it’s important to remember that fascism feeds on nihilism. Democratic socialists believe that working together to realize a freer, fairer future is the best way to fight the normalization of fascism. If you are reading this and not a member of the DSA, consider joining today to help us organize for a collaborative, democratic future.

Nominations for internal steering elections opens, deadline Dec 1

The chapter’s Steering Committee term ends next month and the chapter’s Internal Elections Facilitation Department (IEFD) has kicked off an election for a new Steering Committee with the following timeline: 

  • all MDC DSA members in good standing should have received an email with election details mid-afternoon Monday, November 22. It included a link to the nomination forms;
  • the deadline for nominations is Wednesday, December 1. Nominees getting the required five member nominations for candidacy must decide/declare by December 4, and a candidate forum is scheduled for Monday, December 6 from 7 to 9pm — keep an eye out for the event link;
  • candidates will also have time to make their pitches at the local convention, scheduled for a half day Saturday, December 11 and a full day if necessary Sunday, December 12. 

More, and continually updated, info can be viewed by members on MDC DSA Slack channel #dec-2021-convention-steering-election where issue discussion and slate formation takes place in real time. You can all check out our internal elections resource on our website.

The Internal Elections Facilitation Department includes the following members: Ali T, Gary Z and Marie L. More information on the role of the IEFD is in our chapter’s Standing Rules for Internal Elections. The chapter’s Steering Committee, according to our bylaws, “is the highest elected body of MDC DSA and is the political leadership of the chapter when the membership is not assembled.” All seats on the 11-member Steering Committee will be open for this election. These seats include: at-large (eight seats), treasurer, secretary and campaigns coordinator. If you believe you didn’t get the November 22 email but should have, or have any questions — whether about the election itself or because you’re interested in running — please post in the #steering channel on the chapter’s Slack platform or send an email to



Electoral endorsement resolutions in progress — next candidate forum Dec 5

At least five chapter members sponsored a resolution in favor of endorsing nine candidates running for office in Maryland and DC. These candidates received a first read during the November 14 general body meeting.

The endorsement resolutions are as follows:

Our steering-appointed Political Engagement Committee (PEC) will be arranging Q&A Zoom calls with each candidate. Brandy Brooks (Montgomery County County, At-Large), Adam Cunningham (Maryland State Senate, District 39) and Saqib Ali (Maryland House of Delegates, District 15) will join the Montgomery County Branch’s meeting on December 5 at 2pm. Max Socol (Maryland State Senate, District 18) and Gabriel Acevero (Maryland House of Delegates, District 39) met with the Montgomery Council Branch and other Metro DC DSA comrades on November 21. Recordings of those interviews and transcripts will be shared with the chapter membership before voting.

The membership will hear from candidates and debate on candidate endorsements during the 2021 local convention in December. This debate will be followed by an online vote on endorsements via OpaVote. We will also arrange space for members to provide resolutions in support or in opposition to candidates as we’ve done in the past so that members can make informed decisions on voting.

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. Keep an eye on these updates, or in the #electoral channel on our chapter Slack to stay in the loop. For questions, chapter members should email or post 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).


DC workers eligible for PTO to get themselves or family vaccinated

If you are a private worker in DC, new legislation under the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act will require employers to provide paid leave to employees who need time off to receive vaccinations; to recover from related side effects; or to care for their children who are being vaccinated. You can find a full list of benefits and requirements of the act by visiting the website.

COVID vaccination and boosters are the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — the worst effects of which are faced by the working class.


Chapter merch store open — buy union-made DSA goods at our website

Last month, we opened our local store to make sure union-made threads are available for purchase to our DMV-wide membership. All products are union made and fulfilled, and all proceeds go to support our working groups and campaigns. 


Remember, this is deadline week (Saturday, November 27) for the Washington Socialist December issue’s articles and we (MDC DSA) are immersed in internal and external change as our Convention approaches December 11 and (maybe) 12, plus a concurrent Steering Committee election. Get write to work! Send submissions to In the meantime, check out the November issue.

What kinds of articles appear in the Washington Socialist? Refresh your memory in our indexed archive.

MDC DSA Convention Resolutions: Don’t forget — members in good standing can submit resolutions, including bylaws changes, here by November 28 at 11:59pm.


Monday, November 29

7 – 8pm | Defund MPD Working Group Meeting

Saturday, December 4

5:30 – 9pm | NoVA Winter Social
8 – 11pm | Screening of The War on Cuba documentary

Saturday, December 11

3 – 6pm | Metro DC DSA Annual Chapter Convention

Sunday, December 12

11am – 6pm | Metro DC DSA Annual Chapter Convention

Monday, December 13

6 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Working Group Meeting

Thursday, December 16

7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting


Mutual Aid Is a Year-Round Sport
As Metro DC DSA continues to work alongside our DMV mutual aid partners, we have observed an alarming trend — widespread burnout with little sign of fresh support on the horizon. We’ve heard from many of our mutual aid allies that they are struggling to keep a strong cadre of volunteers engaged and that long-time allies are feeling a big case of burnout. What can you do to help? Volunteer! Whether you can become an integral part of a mutual aid group’s daily functionality or just an occasional extra set of hands, your engagement makes a real difference. There are many amazing mutual aid groups in the DMV, including ward-based groups.

Building Capacity for Mutual Aid Groups | Workshop Series by Dean Spade

In this workshop series, Dean Spade, author of Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During this Crisis (and the Next), will present four interactive workshops designed for people working in mutual aid groups. Each workshop provides tools for addressing common obstacles and growth areas for people doing sustained work together to meet basic survival needs in their communities. The workshops are appropriate for people doing work in all-volunteer groups or in groups that have some staffing. Past workshops are available for viewing online (click the more info buttons). Upcoming workshops include: December 9: Skills for Abolitionist Practice and January 20: Leadership.


The workplace is highly articulated and complex, workplace resistance is similarly various, and one perspective cautions against romanticizing the strike when productive workplace resistance can have so many faces. “[A] high strike frequency should not be fetishized, and it has no value in itself, if it achieves no results,” argue these Swedish syndicalist authors.

The very planet-bound roots of Elon Musk’s incentive to promote asteroid-belt mining. “… the quest for Congo’s cobalt has demonstrated how the clean energy revolution, meant to save the planet from perilously warming temperatures in an age of enlightened self-interest, is caught in a familiar cycle of exploitation, greed and gamesmanship that often puts narrow national aspirations above all else.”

POLITICO playbook touted this as a great weekend longread and it is, including the long part: “It’s Not Just White People: Democrats Are Losing Normal Voters of All Races,” by The Intercept’s Ryan Grim: “Democrats fear they are losing white swing voters over racial politics. Three studies suggest that the party’s elite culture may be the real problem.” If we socialists were opportunists we would be definitely licking our lips over this development … 

More evidence that Maryland did not cruise through the pandemic, despite Larry Hogan’s propaganda: “The pandemic laid bare the fragility of our local food system, in particular our reliance on non-local food sources, the millions of Marylanders at risk for hunger, and weaknesses in distribution and storage infrastructure …”

Insurgents win in Teamsters’ national leadership election. Read about it in 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.

Virgilia D’Andrea