April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022



  • MDC DSA General Body Meeting is this Sunday, April 10 at 3pm

  • Badges Without Borders Walking Tour, Dupont Circle — TOMORROW, April 9 at 1pm

  • Electoral updates: mobilizations in Montgomery County continue, I82 achieves ballot access (with a caveat) and more …

MDC DSA General Body Meeting is this Sunday, April 10 at 3pm

Join us this Sunday at 3pm for our monthly general body meeting. Our general body meetings convene all chapter members across working groups, committees and branches to provide key updates on campaigns, hear from others in the chapter and get to know other members. 

This month, there are a lot of really exciting updates to tune in for. We’ll be hearing from our Membership Engagement Committee (MEC) on some of their deep work around recruiting more members, helping integrate current members into different campaigns and the new session of organizer training for this year. We’ll also be hearing from our WePower DC campaign on the launch of their Public Power Pledge. If you are a new or lapsed member, or just curious about what your friendly neighborhood socialists are up to, this is a great way to get plugged in.

Badges Without Borders Walking Tour, Dupont Circle — TOMORROW, April 9 at 1pm

You’re invited to join the Badges Without Borders: DC Walking Tour at 1pm this Saturday, April 9th, at Dupont Circle! Make sure to sign up here. The tour will explore four sites in Northwest DC connected to how policing and state violence has been, and continues to be, exported and imported worldwide from the District. The walking tour will be led by author Stuart Schrader, who researches how the United States projects imperial power overseas through police training and security assistance — and how this effort reverberates to shape the policing of city streets in the USA. The walking tour will connect those efforts to the people and sites in DC that made them happen and to contemporary organizing work against policing and the exchange of violent policing tactics — specifically to ongoing organizing to ban Israeli Occupation Forces training with the Metropolitan Police Department. 

This is the perfect event for new members and friends who are looking to get involved in the chapter, and anyone in Metro DC DSA who wants to learn the history of the internationalization of policing. The tour is co-sponsored by MD 2 Palestine. It will meet at Dupont Circle at 1pm and will end in Georgetown at 3:45pm, followed by a happy hour afterward. Be sure to sign up in advance to help or request assistance or to get notice in the event of inclement weather. See you there!

Electoral updates: mobilizations in Montgomery County continue, I82 achieves ballot access (with a caveat) and more …

This weekend, the Montgomery County Electoral Working Group will be canvassing for our endorsed candidates Del. Gabriel Acevero (Maryland House of Delegates, District 39), Brandy Brooks (Montgomery County Council, at-large) and Max Socol (Maryland State Senate, District 18). Comrades from across the region are invited to join. We’ll meet at the Shady Grove Metro at noon to canvass for Acevero and Brooks on Saturday, April 9, and we’ll meet at the Forest Glen Metro to canvass for Brooks and Socol on Sunday, April 10. 

This weekend, the DC Electoral Working Group will be canvassing for Zachary Parker. We’ll launch at noon from the Trinidad neighborhood on Saturday and the Truxton Circle neighborhood on Sunday. Join us for some door knocking and post-canvass happy hours by filling out this form, and a chapter organizer will follow up via text. 

Next week, we’ll be hosting our hybrid phonebank to fundraise for our Metro DC DSA Solidarity PAC on Thursday, April 14 at 6pm. Join us either at McGinty’s Public House in downtown Silver Spring or from home via Zoom. We use money donated to the PAC to buy canvassing literature and other efforts to support Acevero, Brooks and Socol.

And in other electoral updates:

  • Brooks received the endorsement of Baltimore/Washington Laborers District Council, a major building trades union — adding to the growing left-labor coalition supporting her candidacy, which also includes the Montgomery County Educators Association and CASA in Action.
  • Acevero has an op-ed in the Washington Informer this week, calling for further protections for juveniles accused of crime.
  • In response to Mayor Bowser’s proposal to dramatically expand police presence in the city, DSA-endorsed Zachary Parker released his response on the question of increasing the MPD’s police force. Parker reiterated his support to follow through on recommendations of the Police Reform Commission, which emphasizes decentering police from our approach to public safety in order to fund violence interruption and community support programming that actually keeps us safe. (You can find the DSA’s Defund MPD working group recommendations to the DC Council on the 2023 budget here.)
  • DC Board of Elections has finally certified Initiative 82’s appearance on the ballot. However, rather than appearing on the June primary ballot as planned, I82 is currently slated to appear on the November general election ballot. This is due to the DC BOE’s failure to use proper voting rolls to confirm I82’s ballot access. (Read more in DCist …) 

To get notified by email and/or text about electoral volunteer opportunities in DC and MoCo, please fill out this form.


Applications Open: Spring 2022 Organizer Training Cohort!

Applications for the Spring 2022 Organizer Training are open, and chapter members and allies are invited to apply here! The training will form a cross-chapter cohort of up to 20 members looking to improve their organizing skills and use hands-on methods to teach principles of being an organizer. Modules will include: Why We Organize, Building Campaigns, Developing Leadership, Relational Organizing Conversations, Principles of Successful Campaigns, Power Mapping and more. 

We’re seeking both new and rising organizers looking to gain skills, along with experienced organizers looking to renew their organizing chops. We hope to build this group with members from across working groups, branches, caucuses, sections, campaigns and committees looking to practice and learn organizing skills — and create a cohort of people with shared interests and experiences. The training will be held at a mutually convenient time weekly for about five weeks in a mostly virtual setting from late April to late May. Apply now — and please send this opportunity to anyone you think would be interested.

Help Metro DC DSA draft a school board candidate questionnaire

In August 2021, our chapter adopted a general questionnaire for vetting candidates for public office in our region. It included questions on a wide variety of topics. However, our chapter’s Political Engagement Committee (PEC) believes that the general questionnaire might not be appropriate for school board candidates. This is because the general questionnaire contains few questions specific to education and also asks too many questions that have little to no relevance to the position the candidates are seeking. (For an example of a completed questionnaire for a school board position, see this 2018 submission by Emily Gasoi, who we subsequently endorsed and who currently serves as SBOE Representative for Ward 1.)

To draft a new questionnaire appropriate for school board candidates, the PEC has created this interest form and survey. This is only the first step in the drafting process which will culminate in a vote by the general body as required by our bylaws. We ask members to (1) express their interest in helping draft a questionnaire by attending one to two meetings about the topic; and (2) suggest some questions to be included in the first draft of said questionnaire. Please fill out the form and help us get ready for the November general elections, when we expect a few school board candidates will seek our endorsement. FYI, our chapter endorsement schedule for 2022 can be found here and you can email us at pec@mdcdsa.org.


Amazon Workers Speak Out: Lessons for How to Win at Work — Monday, April 11 at 8pm

Join DSA’s Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC) and Jacobin magazine for a conversation with Amazon Labor Union organizers Angelika Maldonado, Michelle Valentin Nieves and Chris Smalls on how they and their coworkers achieved the most important union victory in decades — and what workers across the country can learn on how to organize their workplaces today! Moderated by organizer and author Eric Blanc. Register for the Amazon organizing webinar here!

Plus, you can join the DSA Labor Commission this Sunday, April 10 at 7pm, for a panel to launch The Rank-and-File Strategy, a new guide to working in the labor movement. April 10 at 7pm ET. Register for the April 10 Rank-and-File webinar here.


How We Win: Housing Campaigns — a national DSA event — Wednesday, April 13 at 8pm

A virtual discussion with activists and elected officials involved in winning housing campaigns, the first in a new series of DSA Fund discussions on How We Win. This new series will focus on DSA chapters and coalitions that won public policy legislation and referendums. The purpose is to complement DSA’s organizing with a series on how to win campaigns and what happens when these victories become law. Participants include the Democratic Socialists of America Fund, Dissent Magazine, In These Times, Housing Equity Now St Paul (HENS), and the Housing Justice Center. More info and registration here!

Mayoral and Chair Candidate Transportation Forum Video Now Available

If you missed last week’s mayoral and council chair forum at MetroBar, where a powerful cadre of tenant advocates gathered to protest the District’s lack of support for renters and low-income neighbors, recordings are now available via YouTube and Facebook. The following candidates showed up to speak about their transportation vision and platform: Erin Palmer, Phil Mendelson, Robert White and James Butler. The forum was co-hosted by WABA and Greater Greater Washington and co-sponsored by Black Millennials 4 Flint, Moms Clean Air Force DC Chapter, The Coalition for Smarter Growth, DC Environmental Network, Citizens’ Climate Lobby DC and Sunrise Movement DC.

Planning Meeting for Chapter-wide Book Exchange — Monday, April 18 at 6:30pm

Are all your DSA book group reads piling up with no place to go? Why not exchange them with your local comrades for more essential lit at a chapter-wide book swap this spring or summer? If you’d like to be involved in organizing this fun event, register to virtually attend the first planning meeting on Monday, April 18 at 6:30pm ET. Bring your ideas and insights on how we can make this a smoothly run experience for our MDC DSA chapter members and friends.

PG County Branch Monthly General Meeting — Featuring: Panel Discussion on Greenbelt, MD Reparations

Last November, Prince George’s DSA Branch and Metro DC DSA endorsed the successful Greenbelt Reparations ballot measure, and mobilized resources to get out the vote (press release). While there has been some discussion on what to do now, concrete steps have not been taken. Questions are still out there on what reparations will look like and how they will be implemented. We believe we need to work towards a stakeholder focused people’s platform on reparations. 

Join us on Sunday, April 24 at 1pm for a panel discussion on the future of reparations in Greenbelt and how we can continue working to see this through. RSVP HERE.

DC Native Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed as US Supreme Court Justice

Yesterday, the US Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson as the 116th Supreme Court Justice. When sworn in later this year, she will be the first Black woman to serve on the Court. Jackson was born in Washington, DC, and has served as a judge on the US District Court for DC since 2013. Fifty Democrats were joined by three Republicans in her Senate confirmation vote. The confirmation vote should act as a reminder that due to DC’s lack of statehood, the District’s 700,000 residents have no vote on judicial or executive branch nominees.

Spring Defund MPD Canvasses organized by SURJ DC

We’re back at it again! Whether new or experienced, we invite you to join the Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)-DC Trans and Queer Working Group and the SURJ-DC Deep Canvass team to canvass to spread awareness of prison abolition in our neighborhoods. SURJ is coordinating conversations with neighbors about community safety and alternatives to policing. Three dates are planned for this spring that volunteers are invited to join, starting with TOMORROW — Saturday, April 9, Bloomingdale; Sunday, May 15, Bloomingdale; and Saturday, July 9, Columbia Heights. If you’d like to join canvassing operations, fill out the dates that you’re available on this form.


Publications Schedule: Weekly Updates for April are scheduled for Fridays, April 15 and 22, and the May issue of the Washington Socialist drops on Friday, April 29, in advance of May Day events. May issue article deadline is April 23. Write for us anytime; hit us up at thesocialist@mdcdsa.org (all writers welcome, DSA members or not). If an MDC DSA member, join our #publications Slack channel to keep up with the chatter and watch the issues build. 

To get on MDC DSA Slack there’s a new path, and the most intuitive ever: email slack@mdcdsa.org. Use the email address by which national DSA knows you. The requester must be an MDC DSA member in good standing. Here’s the link to find out your paid-up status with national DSA: http://proof.dsausa.org/ 

Standing resources: Metro DC DSA has substantial local-chapter online resources for understanding our past, present and future. Find out about our present structure and configuration here, including current campaigns; check our bylaws and the accompanying explainer on our governance. See our archive of recent statements from the chapter. MDC DSA has branches in NoVA and Maryland.

Find more at our chapter website — including backfiles of the Washington Socialist article hub sorted by issue areas. UP FRONT this week are our campaigns in the electoral landscape, defund (a walking tour) and broadening organizing skills; check out the backstories.

Looking to get involved in the chapter?

Are you a member who’s been looking for ways to get involved in our chapter’s organizing? Are you interested in joining the DSA but would like to talk to someone about it first? No matter where you’re coming from, we’d love to talk to you! Follow this link to schedule a conversation with one of our comrades!

Here is the April issue of the Washington Socialist: Left history to learn from; DC police oversight action; and a bid at untangling DSA’s stance on the Ukraine war


Saturday, April 9

noon – 3pm | Canvass for Gabriel Acevero and Brandy Brooks in D39

1 – 3:45pm | Badges Without Borders: DC Walking Tour

Sunday, April 10

noon – 3pm | Canvass for Max Socol and Brandy Brooks in Forest Glen, Silver Spring

3 – 5pm | General Body Meeting | April

Monday, April 11

6:30 – 7:30pm | Medicare for All Working Group biweekly meeting

7 – 8:30pm | Socialist Feminist Section quarterly organizing meeting

8 – 9pm | NoVA Branch Member Mobilizers

Wednesday, April 13

7pm | Cuba’s Healthcare System — What Can We Learn?

7 – 9pm | The Dawn of Everything Reading Group mtg 6

8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation

Thursday, April 14 

6 – 7pm | Dial for Dollars MoCo Electoral Fundraiser

6:30 – 7:30pm | Cuba Campaign Planning Meeting

7 – 8:30pm | Internationalism WG Monthly Meeting

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

8 – 9pm | Defund MPD Organizational Outreach Meeting

Monday, April 18

6:30 – 8pm | Planning Meeting for Chapter-wide Book Exchange

6:30 – 9pm | Labor Reading Group Spring 2022 week 4

7 – 8pm | Defund MPD Working Group Biweekly Meeting

Tuesday, April 19

7 – 8pm | Defund MPD Comms Meeting

Wednesday, April 20

6 – 7pm | WePower DC All-team Meeting

7 – 9pm | The Dawn of Everything Reading Group mtg 7

8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation

Thursday, April 21

6:30 – 7:30pm | Cuba Campaign Planning Meeting

Sunday, April 24

1 – 3pm | PG County Branch Monthly General Meeting 

Monday, April 25

6:30 – 7:30pm | Medicare for All Working Group biweekly meeting

7 – 8:30pm | April Campaign Council Meeting

8 – 9pm | NoVA Branch Member Mobilizers

Wednesday, April 27 

7 – 9pm | The Dawn of Everything Reading Group mtg 8

8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation

Thursday, April 28 

6:30 – 7:30pm | Cuba Campaign Planning Meeting

8 – 9pm | Defund MPD Organizational Outreach Meeting

Saturday, April 30

1:30 – 4:30pm | SOS Anti-eviction Canvas

4 – 5pm | Green Alert: What the latest science means for climate action

Tuesday, May 3

8pm | Political Engagement Committee Biweekly Meeting


Ward 8 Water Watchers: What Grows in Oxon Run? | DC Greens

Join DC Greens for their second W8WW event on Friday, April 8, from 2 to 5:30pm, “What Grows in Oxon Run.” Attendees will learn about the importance of health, nutrition, and food justice through fresh foods grown in their community from Kenneth Bridgers, manager at The Well at Oxon Run, and about the native and non-native trees and other natural gems special to Oxon Run, such as the cherry blossoms, from Hailey Aleman, Casey Trees. Attendees will also engage in a celebratory tea party honoring Black Women’s History Month. RSVP here.

Narcan Training | Heal Da Homies

Join Heal Da Homies and HIPS DC on Monday, April 11th at 11am at the Tenleytown library (Meeting Room 1) for a training on how to administer NARCAN to treat opioid overdose. This training seeks to increase the number of lives saved by bystanders — find out how you can contribute to reducing overdose deaths by attending. This event is free and open to all.

Little Free Seed Libraries Launch | Share a Seed and UDC Bertie Backus Urban Food Hub

On Saturday, April 16, Share a Seed will unveil their first “Little Free Seed Libraries” at the UDC Bertie Backus Urban Food Hub. The seed libraries were built by Youth Build DC and will be shared at urban farm and community garden sites. During the event, attendees can help paint and decorate the seed libraries, plant seeds to take home and take guided tours of the Food Hub. DC Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists will also be on site sharing information and limited quantities of native plants and seedlings will be available. RSVP and more info here. On Sunday, April 10, Share a Seed will also have an event at Euclid Street Community Garden with Ward 1 Mutual Aid.

Conference: Abolition is Feminism/Feminism is Abolition

A conference co-sponsored by Interrupting Criminalization and Scripps College is being held in SoCal and on the interwebs (hybrid) THIS WEEKEND, April 8 to 10. Registration required for in-person AND virtual attendance. Also, check out Abolitionist Organizing: Towards a World Beyond Police and Prisons Network Gathering June 28 and 29, 2022 (virtual) at the Allied Media Conference — applications to participate are now live and due Friday, April 22.

Rosenwald Film Screening | Reel & Meal at the New Deal

On Monday, April 18 at 6:30pm, Reel & Meal at the New Deal Cafe presents Rosenwald, a documentary about Sears, Roebuck president who founded hundreds of schools for Black children in the 1920s, including 25-plus in Prince George’s County. Sign up for the Zoom link here.


Happening right here on our DMV turf, the trend of organizing union formations in the nonprofit/think tank sector is emerging as MSM news in POLITICO.

But, says Binyamin Appelbaum in the NYT, “The number of American workers who are represented by unions drops with almost every passing year. It reached a new low last year. And it will not recover unless and until the federal government changes the rules of the game.” In the midst of the euphoria about a win at Amazon, “The People, United, Are Not Going to Get Very Far.”

Steven Greenhouse, writing about US labor forces in the UK’s The Guardian, forecasts, “Union leaders see two parallel strategies to preserve American democracy — one is to battle against efforts that roll back voting rights, reduce the political voice of minorities and enable hyper-partisans to skew, even overturn vote counts. The other strategy is to ensure that Democrats win key battleground states, especially longtime union strongholds Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.” Can the numbers needed on the street come from old-school AFL-CIO strategies? Less hope, more help will improve the odds … ‘January 6 Was a Real Wake-Up Call’: US Unions Fight To Save Democracy

A recent webinar, sponsored by US Labor Against War, with Elise Bryant, Phyllis Bennis, Bill Fletcher Jr. and Sara Nelson, provides an in-depth discussion of the Ukraine war and its implication for working-class struggles. The video, edited to incorporate the slide show at the start, is now posted for public viewing on YouTube

New York Magazine profiles the increasingly ubiquitous economist Adam Tooze: “To challenge decades of economic orthodoxy urging government thrift and free markets, it helps to have someone with the data to back up John Maynard Keynes’s assertion that “anything we can actually do, we can afford.” A figure like Sanders could make the case that things had to change, but a figure like Tooze could provide the proof.”

In Vice, labor journalist Lauren Kaori Gurley chronicles the highlight of last week, the worker-led Amazon Labor Union’s unionization victory in Staten Island — from ALU President Chris Smalls’ unfair termination two years ago to the grassroots organizing that led to today. 

NLRA general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo yesterday issued a memo announcing that she will ask the Board to rule that mandatory meetings, including captive audience meetings, are a violation of the National Labor Relations Act. In The American Prospect, journalist Harold Meyerson explains why she is “in such a blessed hurry” to reverse decades of erosion of the protections enshrined in the National Labor Relations Act.

“… if housing is a human right as HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge says, the government should be enabling community control of the housing market, not corporate control. The so-called market can only be relied upon to prioritize profits, not human rights.” A call for social housing from 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