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December 10, 2021
MDC DSA Annual Convention this weekend – December 11 to 12
Electoral endorsement updates – voting begins next week, PEC recommendation published
Labor and legislative victories in Maryland and Virginia
MDC DSA Annual Convention this weekend – December 11 to 12
Our chapter’s local convention will be held virtually this month on Saturday, December 11, and Sunday, December 12. The convention will serve as an opportunity for our members to meet and discuss the priorities for the next year and beyond. DON’T FORGET TO PRE-REGISTER HERE!
All chapter members in good standing who have been members since before November 11th, 2021 will receive an email with their delegate credentials from firstname.lastname@example.org. Our 2021 Convention Bulletin contains all details members will need to know about the local convention. The chapter’s convention hub contains all of the key day-of information that you’ll need for both Saturday and Sunday.
The current schedule is as follows:
- Saturday, December 11, 3pm to 6pm ET. Statements from Steering Committee candidates and debate on the chapter’s endorsement of electoral candidates. There will be a debate but no live voting on Saturday. Instead, voting in the Steering Committee election and for electoral candidates will be available to all chapter members and will occur via OpaVote email ballots.
- Sunday, December 12, 11am to 5:30pm ET. Debate on priority campaigns will happen first on Sunday, with voting on priorities occurring on the OpaVote email ballot following convention. After priorities, we’ll have debate and live voting on the chapter budget, amendments to the bylaws, and resolutions.
- Sunday, December 12, 5:30pm ET. We will hear remarks from a keynote speaker, Cuban Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera.
You can view a full list of bylaw amendments and resolutions at the online version of our weekly update or in the 2021 Convention Bulletin. The period to submit resolutions and bylaw amendments closed on November 28, 2021. See #announcements on Slack for registration links or contact Kareem E, who also can field questions, at email@example.com.
About the convention side effects: Adcom reminds us that messages on Slack will be wiped due to the massive use it will get during the convention. Slack users, especially those managing specific channels, should save important things or pin them before Saturday.
Last stretch of the local endorsement process – voting begins next week, PEC recommendation published
At least five chapter members have sponsored a resolution in favor of endorsing nine candidates running for office in Maryland and DC for the 2022 primary cycle. These candidates received a first read during the November 14 general body meeting. All candidates have submitted questionnaires, and have Q&A sessions to answer questions from membership. You can find access to candidate questionnaires and Q&A calls at the online version of this week’s newsletter, or at our candidate endorsements page here.
Our local Political Engagement Committee – which is appointed by our local steering committee and helps facilitate the local endorsement process, has released their recommendations on endorsements to the broader membership. You can find their recommendations, along with a full list of candidates running and their associated Q&As and questionnaires, on our endorsements page. You can also read the PEC’s full report on endorsement recommendations here.
Labor and legislative victories in Maryland and Virginia
In the Maryland Senate this week, the House of Delegates overrode the Governor’s veto on the Dignity Not Detention Act, a bill proposed by chapter member Del. Vaughn Stewart (D-Montgomery) that bans for-profit ICE detention centers in Maryland. During Maryland’s Tuesday legislative session, the House also voted to override Governor Hogan’s veto of a bill that removed the Governor from Maryland’s parole process, which will make it easier for those who have already served long sentences to be released from prison on parole. See full briefing in Maryland Matters.
Meanwhile, in Loudon County, Virginia, teachers became the first in the state to win collective bargaining rights. Teachers and their allies — including members from Charlottesville DSA — turned out to put pressure on the board to vote positively for the measure. The success of this legislation is evidence of a revived labor movement in Virginia. Virginia’s prohibition on unionizing by public employees was lifted on May 1, providing labor, socialist and progressive organizers in the state a new opportunity to expand the rights and wages of workers.
Want to learn more about Virginia labor history? Check out our night school coverage here.
MDC DSA Steering Elections information – voting begins next week
Thirteen candidates are running for the MDC DSA steering committee (10 candidates for at-large, and one each for treasurer, secretary, and campaigns coordinator. You can find information about these candidates on our Internal Elections Hub (we’ll also be uploading a recording of the candidate forum conducted earlier this week once we have that available). Steering candidates will also provide statements at the Saturday portion of the MDC DSA Convention this weekend. All members eligible to vote will receive ballots next week where they can register their votes, and members can participate in debate and discussion in the #dec-2021-convention-steering-election channel on Slack.
Reclaim Rent Control Coalition and DC residents urge the DC Council to extend DC’s rent freeze
On December 31, 2021, the rent freeze that has protected tenants for the duration of the pandemic will end. Allowing the rent freeze to expire will leave all DC tenants vulnerable to massive rent increases that could lead to a new wave of evictions. We are already in the midst of an eviction crisis: programs that help tenants pay their rent have ended or are running out of money, and eviction filings are on the rise. At the same time, the District continues to destroy encampments, leaving unhoused neighbors without safe alternatives.
As lawmakers, the DC Council has the ability to prevent the eviction crisis from worsening, particularly in the colder months of the year. Sign Reclaim Rent Control’s petition to urge the DC Council to extend the rent freeze in DC for an additional 12 months.
We Power DC All-Team Meeting and Visioning Exercise – Wednesday, Dec 15
Every third Wednesday of the month at 6pm ET, the We Power DC campaign comes together to give a state of the campaign update, engage new members and have a targeted strategy discussion. At December’s meeting, we’ll have two main agenda items: (1) Discussing Metro DC DSA’s annual convention, and (2) creating our vision of public power. For us to be able to put forward our new Public Power pledge — following up on the No Pepco pledge last cycle — we need to collectively shape our shared vision of public power that we are demanding DC Councilmembers and candidates commit to. At this meeting, we’ll do a facilitated brainstorm that will serve as the basis for that vision. Click here to join the meeting, and here if you’d like to join our movement. Questions? Issues joining the meeting? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Metro DC DSA Chapter Visit to the Museum of Palestinian People – Saturday, Dec 18
Join fellow Metro DC DSA comrades and friends for a guided tour of the Museum of Palestinian People! This is one of two museums in the country dedicated to Palestinian history and culture. The guided tour will last one hour, and tours are capped at 15 people due to COVID safety restrictions. Tickets cost $5, but if the cost is at all a burden, don’t worry about it. Sign up and save your spot here. The museum is located at: 1900 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Big Scary S-Word screening in PG County – December 20
MDC DSA comrades and our allies are all invited to join the Prince George’s County Branch on Monday, December 20, at 7pm, for a free viewing and discussion of “The Big Scary S Word” as a part of the Reel And Meal at The New Deal Café. After the screening, there will be a post-viewing discussion. This will be a hybrid event, both in-person and virtual attendance.
To register for virtual attendance, follow the link here: https://tinyurl.com/ReelnMealDec.
For in-person attendance, the New Deal Café is located at 113 Centerway, Greenbelt, MD 20770. Seating is limited and proof of vaccination is required. Vegan meals are available for carry-out purchase at the Co-op Supermarket next door to the New Deal Café, and drinks/snacks are available in the café. Please reach out if you have any questions. See you there!
DC Progressives fail to defend houseless residents from Bowser’s encampment eviction program
On December 7, instead of taking action to protect our neighbors living in encampments, the DC Council voted to postpone a vote on CM Brianne Nadeau’s emergency legislation to pause encampment evictions. The next day, the DC government scheduled another encampment eviction. Both the vote on Nadeau’s legislation and the eviction are scheduled for December 21. CMs R. White (At-Large), T. White (Ward 8), Silverman (At-Large) and Lewis George (Ward 4 and DSA member) all expressed support for the legislation. The liberal Mary Cheh (Ward 3) balked at the proposal, while progressives Allen (Ward 6) and Henderson (At-Large) failed to defend the legislation (Henderson went on to post favorably about a meeting with NoMa BID the next day…socialists and progressives should know that BIDs are notorious for enabling gentrification and emboldening corporate owners in urban centers).
DC comrades are urged to contact your councilmember to demand the end of harmful, short-sighted evictions in favor of a policy of housing for all.
Kelloggs opts to scab its 1,400 striking workers — keyboard warriors needed in support of workers
Kellogg’s workers have been on strike for over two months now in protest of working and wage conditions for factory workers at the company. Despite record profits, Kellogg’s is stripping premium health care coverage, holiday and vacation pay, and retirement benefits. In addition, Kellogg’s workers had been forced to accept 16-hour overtime shifts and 7-day work weeks.
On December 7th, Kellogg’s announced that they will be seeking to permanently replace most of these striking 1,400 workers. Digital savants have begun flooding their application systems to inhibit the hire of workers. If you’ve got time to spare and feel like frustrating corporate machinations, here’s how you can lend your digital support. Additionally, you can send financial support to one of the four strike-funds open in Battle Creek, Memphis, Omaha or Lancaster.
December Washington Socialist – update
Last week, we published the December edition of our monthly digital publication, Washington Socialist.
Below is the short-stack released last week and one new article published today:
- On Electoral Tactics, Strategy and Accountability – an outgoing steering member reflects on how to keep candidates accountable while maintaining a strategic approach to electoral campaigns
- Howard University Students Win Demands through Protest
- DSA Chapters Call On Biden to Lift Blockade on Medical Supplies to Cuba
- Election Roundup 2021
- November Evergreens
Hardly a monolith — a big tent organization like MDC DSA is no homogenous pudding but a swarm. Here are our internal formations and campaigns, articulated and active, with contact info. See something missing or have new information about your activity or campaign? Contact the MDC DSA infosphere at email@example.com, and we’ll work with you to get it freshened.
This is our December 2021 newsletter, the Washington Socialist, with articles lovingly embedded in the usual wrapper of our Friday Update, received as email by ~7,000 leftists in the DMV. About half are MDC DSA members in good standing. If you are not, join here. The Weekly Update publication schedule for this last month of 2021 is Fridays, December 17 and 24, and we’ll publish the first Washington Socialist of 2022 (January) on the very last day of 2021, Friday, December 31.
Between Friday publications of the Update, MDC DSA members can keep up with fast-breaking activities and news — and participate in the activist traffic — on the MDC DSA Slack. If you are a member in good standing and want to get on Slack, contact firstname.lastname@example.org using the email by which national DSA knows you.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
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
Wednesday, December 15
Thursday, December 16
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Monday, December 20
Tuesday, December 21
7 – 8pm | Defund MPD Comms Meeting
Wednesday, December 22
6:30 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Research Meeting
Thursday, December 23
Monday, December 27
6 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Working Group Meeting
Wednesday, December 29
8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA / New Member Orientation – New Year’s Resolution Special
Monday, January 3
Help launch a limited-equity cooperative and mutual aid hub in Ward 1 | Baldwin House
On Sherman Ave NW in DC, a familiar story is unfolding — the greedy landlord of a small building wants to sell to convert it into overpriced units, pushing Black and Brown, low-income tenants out of the building and furthering the cycle of gentrification. But residents of the building are exercising their rights to purchase the building under DC’s TOPA law in order to establish a limited-equity housing cooperative and community mutual aid hub. They’re raising an initial $300,000 by December 31 to provide immediate support to residents and take foundational steps to acquire the building.
Monday, December 13, 12pm | PPC Moral Monday March on Washington
With the pandemics of systemic racism, poverty, voter suppression and COVID-19 still wreaking havoc on our daily lives, our democracy, and our nation’s social and moral infrastructure, we need Congress to pass voting rights protections and the Build Back Better plan before the end of the year. Join the Poor People’s Campaign for a Moral Monday March on Washington, DC on December 13, 2021 at 12pm ET to tell Congress: Get It Done in 2021!
Monday, December 20, 5pm | 9th Annual Homeless Memorial Vigil
This event will memorialize neighbors we have lost and honor those who are healing from the harms caused by racial and economic injustice. No one deserves to die on the streets, and we yearn for the day when we will no longer have to hold this yearly event. Every person, in both life and death, deserves the dignity of a home. Organized by the People for Fairness Coalition.
Saturday, December 11, 1pm | Our Revolution MoCo monthly meeting
Join Our Revolution MoCo for a dynamic panel discussion on housing policy in Maryland and in Montgomery County. This will be the most discussed issue in the campaign, so let’s talk about it. What can we hope for and work towards to make housing more affordable, and to produce a more vital, livable community?
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
Hey comrades, we know the alleged flood of charitable donations at the end of each year doesn’t necessarily emanate from the modestly compensated workers who make up the most of our MDC DSA ranks. And if you do have a few spare bucks, we hope first of all you will donate to our local chapter, or buy MDC DSA swag for those on your holiday gift list.
But you have probably noticed that many of our Good Reads are published by nonprofits that are perennially struggling to stay afloat. So we info types in the Pubs WG want to remind you that Common Dreams, TruthOut, Independent Media Institute as well as Portside, which aggregates many such efforts, all help to keep us unbefuddled by the MSM and deserve our support. Looking for a favorite source? Browse Portside offerings.
New Study Finds The US Military Is Spreading Disease Around The World — Dr. Margaret Flowers in the Popular Resistance newsletter analyzes a new study out of York University in Toronto, showing the US military plays a large role in the spread of diseases globally, including past and present pandemics. Important factors in the spread of disease are Status Agreements that the US military makes with local and national governments that exempt members of the military from being required to follow public health measures, as well as a culture of impunity within the military.
A tandem primer on the new German governing coalition — The American Prospect’s Bob Kuttner on how Olaf Scholz and Joe Biden share coalition-navigation problems; and a sharply-conceived NYT inquiry into how Scholz hopes to reconstitute his SPD in a way that brings back its wandering working-class base.
Rage-induced policing in DC: hacked documents reveal that the DC Police Department attempted to suppress robberies in 2012 and 2013 by targeting and surveilling residents of black neighborhoods. In worker-run outlet The Appeal.
This week, Kellogg’s announced its intention to replace the 1,400 workers currently on strike after the striking workers rejected management’s contract offer. In Rolling Stone, a recap of why strikers are refusing to concede to the cereal giant: “The workers? They’ve time-traveled to William Blake’s dark-satanic-mills era of factory work, where a purposely understaffed labor force endures, according to union workers, 72- to 84-hour work weeks — not a typo — that includes mandated overtime and a point system that dings you if you dare beg off to go watch your son’s Little League game.”
Financial industry watchdogs are asking federal officials to attempt to stop the cryptocurrency pilot program launched by Facebook, noting that the US government has the power to criminally prosecute executives for operating the venture. Our local comrade Sam Knight has the story in TruthOut.
An on-the-ground report on the election victory of Xiomara Castro, the first woman to become president of Honduras, courtesy of the Progressive International Observatory. “Nearly 70% of the country turned out to vote … delivering a crushing defeat for the ruling National Party — and, by extension, the militarization of Honduran society that the United States government had financed.” More on Castro’s victory and the road ahead in The Nation: “Honduras Elects a Socialist—but Will She be Allowed to Govern?”
What “cancel culture” really looks like: a capable woman at the top of her field is slandered as a communist. In Financial Times, Biden’s strong pick to lead a big US bank regulator steps down following nativist smears and red-baiting from GOP creeps.
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.