February 4, 2022

February 4, 2022



  • Labor tensions boil in DC — Rally in support of local unionizing workers TOMORROW, 11:30am

  • Defund MPD Labor Night — Thursday, February 10, 7pm

  • Political Engagement Committee to meet Tuesday, February 8 at 8pm

Labor tensions boil in DC — Rally in support of local unionizing workers TOMORROW, 11:30am

Union Kitchen CEO Cullen Gilchrist has hired a union-busting law firm to help him intimidate and retaliate against workers seeking union rights and decent work at Union Kitchen. Join DSA for a rally TOMORROW, Saturday, February 5 outside Union Kitchen at 1252 9th St NW (Metro accessible via Mt Vernon Square) to tell him that Union Kitchen deserves a union! RSVP here and join us afterwards for Initiative 82 canvassing!

Last week, workers at three Union Kitchen stores in DC announced their intent to form a union. Union Kitchen has refused to voluntarily recognize the union, put out a call to hire new staff to dilute the effort and hired a union-busting law firm to squash worker unionization efforts. Aside from tomorrow’s rally, allies can support Union Kitchen workers by following and boosting United Kitchen Workers on social media (Twitter), or show up to their stores’ three locations on Thursdays wearing red.

As workers rally for stronger wages at Union Kitchen, labor battles are also heating up in other parts of downtown DC. Workers at progressive think-tank Center for American Progress voted to reject a contract offered by management, giving union leaders the authority to escalate the dispute. CAP salary minimums are well below those of other liberal-progressive-left institutes in the city, and the union recently conducted a staff survey which found that more than half of its members spend at least 40% of their paychecks on housing.

Interested in organizing your workplace, or helping others organize their workplace? Greater Baltimore DSA is launching a series on workplace organizing (MDC DSA comrades are welcome to join) over the next six weeks: from February 9 to March 16, 6:30 to 8pm. Register here.

Defund MPD Labor Night — Thursday, February 10, 7pm

On Thursday, February 10 at 7pm, join workers in the DMV, along with the Defund MPD Coalition, for a virtual discussion hosted by Metro DC DSA on policing, organized labor and how we win funding for communities. Hear more about the demands of the Coalition to refund workers, the history of police and labor, why police unions aren’t real unions and how the struggle to reduce funding for police and refund our communities aligns with workers’ values and goals. Following a brief presentation, we’ll have small-group breakouts to discuss policing and labor, including any questions and hesitations you may have, as well as ways to engage in our demands through the upcoming budget season. Register here! 

If you haven’t kept up with the state of defund policing efforts in the city, this event is a great opportunity to catch up. The event comes at a time when the state of police and policing in the city has come under greater public scrutiny. A lawsuit filed this week against MPD alleges that DCPD withholds public information from those critical of the department. The filers allege that certain reporters, attorneys, and community members have their Freedom of Information Act requests treated differently. 

Political Engagement Committee to meet Tuesday, February 8 at 8pm

The 2022 Political Engagement Committee met Tuesday to ramp up the electoral working groups for DC and Montgomery County. The next PEC meeting will take place on Tuesday Feb 8th at 8pm and will be open to all chapter members. We ask that former PEC members and any members involved in past election cycles join. We’d like to build on lessons we’ve learned from past cycles to guide our 2022 strategy!

We’ll post an agenda as soon as it’s made but we will tentatively be discussing the questions on this document about sharing resources across jurisdictions. All of our regular biweekly PEC meetings going forward will be open unless explicitly stated otherwise. You can also reach us in the #2022-pec channel if there’s something you’d like to bring up at that meeting. You can sign up to attend the meeting here.


Four new articles this month, with more to come next week…


Socialist Night School: Puerto Rico’s Fight Against Colonialism — Thursday, February 10, 6:30pm

This session will meet from 6:30 to 8:30pm to cover important events going back to the US invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898, through its colonial history, the internal resistance against imperialism and the ultimate goal of independence. RSVP here.

Spring Reading Groups Open in DC

You’re invited to join the Spring Reading Groups hosted by Metro DC DSA beginning in early March and running through June! These 10 groups are for people looking to meet comrades, people starting their political education and everyone who wants to build their understanding of the world in community. Groups include Capital Vol. 1, Marx at the Movies, Black Marxism, Socialism 101, Work Won’t Love You Back, Indigenous Resistance, Ecosocialism and Public Power, Socialist Feminism, Debt and Finance, and Dawn of Everything. All readings and media are free to view online, most meetings will be held virtually and more information is available for each group here. If you’re new to the chapter or want to introduce your friends or colleagues to DSA, these groups are a perfect entry point — everyone is welcome! Sign up here.


MDC DSA Endorsed Candidates Secure Major Endorsements, Strong Fundraising

Metro DC DSA’s membership voted to endorse four candidates for electoral office in Maryland and DC during the 2022 primaries. Over the past month, the campaigns — three newcomers, one incumbent — show strong signs of promise.

MDC DSA-endorsed candidate Zachary Parker reported the largest fundraising haul of all of the candidates running for DC Council in Ward 5, including the largest number of individual donors and the largest number of donors from DC and Ward 5. The Sunrise Movement’s DC hub also joined Metro DC DSA in endorsing Parker this week.

CASA in Action, a powerhouse organization representing working-class immigrant communities, endorsed Brandy Brooks for Montgomery County Council and Gabriel Acevero for re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates. MDC DSA has endorsed both Brooks and Acevero in the 2022 primary cycle.

Sign up to knock on doors, make calls, raise funds and more for Metro DC DSA-endorsed candidates and initiatives here.


DSA International Committee Statement on US-Russia Tensions

Earlier this week, the DSA International Committee released a statement opposing US militarization and interventionism in Ukraine and Eastern Europe: 

Following months of increased tensions and a sensationalist Western media blitz drumming up conflict in the Donbas, the US government is responding to the situation in Ukraine through the familiar guise of threats of sweeping sanctions, provision of military aid, and increased military deployment to the region. The Democratic Socialists of America International Committee (DSA IC) opposes this ongoing US brinkmanship, which only further escalates the crisis, and reaffirms our previous statement saying no to NATO and its imperialist expansionism and disastrous interventions across the world.

You can read the full statement here.

DC politicians peddle in law-and-order hysteria

Last week, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh indulged in an alarming rant which baselessly blamed “juveniles” and the former homeless for an alleged increase of crime in the ward. Mayor Bowser and Chief Contee also indulged in the panic in various public appearances this week. 

In response to these agitations, Attorney General Karl Racine pushed back against inaccurate claims, and Mayoral candidate Robert White released a public safety plan which would decenter police, expand and invest in violence interruption and support services. DSA endorsed Zachary Parker, candidate for the Ward 5 council seat, also released his public safety plan which emphasizes a vision of safety that decenters the role of police and policing. 


Wondering if you are up to date on your DSA dues? That’s how you stay current nationally AND locally. Here’s the link to find out your paid-up status with national DSA http://proof.dsausa.org/ — you may be a socialist in your heart, but as DSA’s founder once said, “an unorganized socialist is a contradiction in terms.” By the way, you can contribute $ to our local MDC DSA chapter separately at this link and get your externals right via shopping our merch store.

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 (self-check process is shown one entry above) and want to get on (or stay on) Slack, contact info@mdcdsa.org using the email by which national DSA knows you.

Publications Schedule: The Weekly Update will publish on Fridays, February 11, 18 and 25, and the March Washington Socialist newsletter publishes Friday, March 4, with an article deadline of February 26. Send your nuanced articles about the ever-shifting political and cultural conditions for socialist change-making to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.

The Washington Socialist has a rich archive, indexed by issues, in our Topic Hub here. See what we have been writing, and get ideas about topics that could be updated or articles that could be improved upon (wait, what?). Send your articles, whenever they are done,  to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.

A big-tent organization like MDC DSA is no homogenous pudding but a swarm composed of many campaigns and tendencies putting thought into action. Organizationally, what do we look like? Here are our internal formations and campaigns, articulated and active, with contact info. Get to know the big picture outside your immediate campaign or issue. See something missing or have new information about your activity or campaign? Contact the MDC DSA infosphere at thesocialist@mdcdsa.org, and we’ll work with you to get it freshened.



MAWG-azine Issue 2 Is Out! | DSA Mutual Aid Working Group
DSA’s National Mutual Aid Working Group (MAWG) believes that mutual aid is a key component in building community power. To share lessons learned, advocacy tips and mutual aid experiences with comrades nationally, MAWG publishes period editions of the MAWG-azine, which you can find online for free here. There are also printable versions (please print and share!) and a colorblind accessible version.

Fight Senior Hunger | DC Greens
Have you signed up to testify in favor of the No Senior Hungry Bill yet? The public hearing for the No Senior Hungry Bill will be Monday, February 14 at 10am with the DC Committee on Housing & Executive Administration. Testimonies (written or in-person) are a great way to show support for increasing community resources! Find resources on how to advocate for the No Senior Hungry Bill and details on how to submit testimony on DC Greens’ website.

New Outdoor Community Fitness Space in Ward 4
Councilmember Janeese Lewis George and the Department of Parks and Recreation recently announced the opening of a new community outdoor space and fitness park in Ward 4 at Lamond Recreation Center. The space is open and available for use! 

Magazine seeks submissions for stories and essays about an anti-capitalist future
After The Storm is a digital publication that describes a world beyond our current oppressive society. We want to tell stories that span beyond white supremacy, patriarchy, ableism, imperialism, capitalism and so much more. We operate under the assumption that to reach a place, you first have to imagine it.

And we want your vision of that future! We will be paying $50 for writers in the DC area for all accepted stories, sponsored by Metro DC DSA. Send your pitches to afterthestormmag@gmail.com and check out our submission guide here.


Kurt Anderson writes “The Anti-vaccine Right Brought Human Sacrifice to America” in The Atlantic (via Portside).

In Jacobin: “Honduras’s First Woman President Is a Socialist With a Vision.” An exploration of the radical possibilities (and enormous challenges) for newly inaugurated President Xiomara Castro. 

In a New York Times long read, labor reporter Noam Schreiber writes: “The pandemic has supposedly given service workers leverage. But many still have unstable hours and incomes because employers like the flexibility.” Read “Despite Labor Shortages, Workers See Few Gains in Economic Security.

Adolph Reed Jr. found himself in that awkward state: “too long for an article, too short for a book” — and so pushed on to complete an analytical lived memory of the Jim Crow South, as detailed in this interview in Common Dreams. The new book is The South: Jim Crow and its Afterlives.

Tipped from the Playbook: “Democrats With a Dirty Secret — They Watch Fox,” by Jack Shafer in POLITICO: “New data shows the conservative outlet has plenty of left-leaning viewers. Turns out everyone likes to be entertained.” Are you giving your comrades the side-eye just now …?

Two from Labor Notes: In “Rail Unions Are Bargaining Over a Good Job Made Miserable,” an investigation into the many nefarious ways freight rail companies extract enormous profits at the expense of their (largely unionized) workers — and the antiquated legal structures that make it difficult for workers to fight back. 

In better news, workers at a huge General Motors plant in Mexico voted overwhelmingly to join an independent labor union, leaving their former, employer-friendly union in the dust.

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