April 15, 2022

April 15, 2022



  • Statement on Transphobic Assaults and Legislation

  • Special GBM called to revoke MDC DSA endorsement of Brandy Brooks — Thursday, April 21 at 7pm

  • Chapter-wide Happy Hour — Tuesday, April 19 from 6 to 9pm

Statement on Transphobic Assaults and Legislation

Metro DC DSA published a statement on April 10th regarding recent transphobic assaults and legislation unfolding across the country:

“[On April 9,] one of our comrades was harassed and filmed without her consent for being a trans woman riding the Metro. We’re relieved that she eventually got to her destination safely, but we’re furious that she had to deal with this terrifying threat to her safety and we’re furious about the repeated harassment that our transgender comrades continuously experience …

This is no coincidence or isolated incident. The person who attacked our comrade echoed common conservative rhetoric that has been gaining national traction … This is the natural culmination of a concerted effort by conservatives to try to erase trans people from our world

Trans liberation is inextricably linked to our collective liberation. We deserve a world where everyone can feel safe to be themselves, where trans kids can grow into trans adults, and where our transgender comrades can not just exist, but can thrive and live their fullest lives. In that same vein, we’re calling for decarceral solutions to making sure that our city and our region are safe for everyone.

It’s on all of us to combat transphobia in all its forms, to advocate for protections and gender-affirming care for trans people, and to create safe public spaces for queer and trans people. We call on the DC Council to protect our transgender neighbors across all facets of life: including on public transporation, in schools and workplaces, and across our healthcare system. We call on our cisgender neighbors to call out transphobia as it’s happening and to organize to build a better, safer world for our trans friends, neighbors, and loved ones.”

Read the full statement here.

Additional resources and support for the LGBTQ+ community in DC:

Special GBM called to revoke MDC DSA endorsement of Brandy Brooks — Thursday, April 21 at 7pm

On Thursday, the Steering Committee met in an emergency session to hear the first reading of Resolution 2022-04-GR01: Revoke Metro DC DSA endorsement of Brandy Brooks for County Council.

Following the first read of this resolution, the Steering Committee voted on and passed a separate resolution: Resolution 2022-04-SR17: Call a Special Meeting of the Members. With the passage of this resolution, the Steering Committee has scheduled a Special Meeting on Thursday, April 21st at 7pm. The Steering Committee has also deemed this resolution an Emergency Resolution, which allows Resolution 2022-04-GR01 to bypass the standard two-week waiting period for consideration.

During the Special Meeting, the Sponsors of this Resolution 2022-04-GR01 will have the opportunity to motivate their resolution. Members will have the opportunity to discuss and debate Resolution 2022-04-GR01, as well as ask questions of the motivators, and add amendments.

Following the meeting, an Opavote will be sent to all MDC DSA members. All members will have the opportunity to submit written statements to accompany the ballot. The deadline to submit a statement for or against the resolution via Red Desk is Wednesday, April 20th. The ballot will remain open for three days, after which we will publicize the results. Please feel free to reach out to Kareem E. or another Steering Committee member if you have any questions.

Here is the Action Network link to join the Special Meeting.

Metro DC DSA Chapter-wide Happy Hour — Tuesday, April 19 from 6 to 9pm

On Tuesday, April 19 from 6 to 9pm, the chapter will be convening a happy hour at City-State Brewing in Brookland, DC. Because of COVID, it’s been months since the chapter has been able to convene an in-person social event in DC, so many of us are excited to host one again!

RSVP here. Members, friends, allies and those interested in democratic socialism and community activism are welcome to come out! We will also be collecting donations for DSA-sponsored electoral campaigns. 

To note, City-State Brewing has a food truck onsite with partial outdoor and open-air indoor space and also requires proof of vaccination on entry. City-State is directly accessible from the Metropolitan Branch bike path and a 5-10 minute walk from the Rhode Island Ave Metro Station. It’s partially indoors and partially out, with the indoors being open-air.


Statement from Steering Committee on Brandy Brooks endorsement

Metro DC DSA posted a statement on Thursday, April 14th to address updates around the campaign of endorsed candidate Brandy Brooks. The first part of the statement is below:

“This past weekend, the Metro D.C. DSA Steering Committee was made aware of credible allegations of persistent sexual harassment by endorsed candidate Brandy Brooks towards one of her employees. We were also informed that she had walked back the internal accountability process laid out by the campaign. Out of respect for the privacy for those who informed us, and in accordance with mediated agreements, we cannot provide additional detail, but want to affirm that the evidence gave us significant concern. 

Given the close relationships we developed over many years with members of Brandy’s campaign team, including Brandy herself, we are not taking these allegations lightly and are moving deliberately in consultation with others in our community.”

You can read the statement in full here.

Apply Now: Spring 2022 Organizer Training!

Interested in learning more about how to organize? Want to get more involved in the chapter or improve your skills in organizing conversations, strategy and more? Applications for the Spring 2022 Organizer Training are open, and chapter members and allies are invited to apply here! The training will form a cohort of up to 20 people looking to improve their organizing skills and use hands-on methods learned from Chapter trainers that 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 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. You may nominate someone you think would be good for this training too!

2022 Fund-A-Thon Benefiting DC Abortion Fund

This year’s Fund-A-Thon has begun! Last year we raised just over $15,000, and this year we aim to match that. The money we raise helps people in DC, Maryland and Virginia access abortion care. As more people travel for care and budgets have been stretched thin in the last couple of years, the Fund-A-Thon is a vital part of making abortions accessible in our region. 

There are a few ways you can get involved this month:

  1. Sign up for our team at fund.nnaf.org/MDCDSAFund 
  2. Sign up to donate a baked good or items for consignment: donation form link
  3. Volunteer your time by leading a fitness class in May (email alexandra.m.seymour@gmail.com

To get involved with team event planning, support with individual fundraising or if you have questions, please reach out to Alexandra (alexandra.m.seymour@gmail.com) or Krysten (kads0522@gmail.com). 


Tell the Montgomery County Council: Don’t Let Renter Protections Expire

As a pandemic emergency measure, the Montgomery County Council passed a bill prohibiting landlords from increasing rent above the County’s Voluntary Rent Guideline, as well as collecting late fees from residents who were suffering financial hardship as a result of COVID. This effectively prohibits landlords from increasing rent by more than 0.4%. These protections are temporary and set to expire on May 15.

Meanwhile, housing costs in the US are skyrocketing, and rents increased on average by 14% last year. In Montgomery County rents are particularly high, and currently about 100,000 residents (80% Black and Latinx) are at risk of losing their housing. The Montgomery County Branch has heard that council members need public pressure to even consider extending rent stabilization and has created an action alert to write council members urging them to extend protections. Write a letter here.

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.

Suggest questions for school board candidate seeking the chapter’s endorsement

The MDC DSA Political Engagement Committee is drafting a new questionnaire appropriate for school board candidates in the DMV and has created this form for you to participate in the process. 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 suggest some questions to be included in the first draft of the questionnaire and also indicate their interest, if any, in participating in a discussion about the final draft. 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.

GBM Recap

The MDC DSA monthly General Body Meeting took place last Sunday from 3 to 5pm. Along with (virtually) mingling with fellow socialists and hearing reports from the chapter secretary, treasurer and more, the body received updates from branches, working groups and sections — including news of Starbucks unionization in MD, local branch defund planning in Fairfax County, reparations in PG county and much more. The general body also received exciting news from We Power DC regarding electoral candidates who have signed the Public Power Pledge (Zachary Parker, Brianne Nadeau and Erin Palmer) and future plans for a publicly powered District.

Our Labor WG offered a number of opportunities to engage in DC-area labor efforts. Those interested in working on local campaigns including Starbucks and Amazon unionization, the domestic workers’ bill of rights, Initiative 82 (on the ballot for November!) and more should reach out via #Labor on Slack or Labor@mdcdsa.org. As always, electoral updates in Maryland and DC provided exciting news on work being done for our endorsed candidates — and how to get involved

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our next GBM is on May 15th — mark your calendars.

DSA International Committee Panel — This Sunday, April 17 at 11am

Join us this Sunday, April 17 at 11am ET for the inaugural session of our new Intro to Global Econ series! Jason Hickel, Adom Getachew and David Kotz will explore the actors, dynamics and rules of the global capitalist, imperialist system. Info and RSVP here.

Religion & The Left Series: The Individual, the Collective & the Common Good — April 26 at 7pm

On Tuesday, April 26 at 7pm ET, please join the DSA Religion & Socialism Working Group for the new panel in the Religion & the Left series: The Individual, the Collective & the Common Good.

This will be an interfaith event featuring Rabbi Robin Podolsky, Dr. James Mark Shields and Rashad X, who will be discussing: how to balance nonconformity and individual morality against the perils of capitalist individualism; the relationship between the individual and the collective; how religion can help build solidarity in pursuit of a greater common good. 

There will be plenty of time for Q&A and open discussion in the second half of the event. People of all faiths are welcome to attend. RSVP here.

Local chain Union Kitchen continues aggressive union busting tactics

Management at Union Kitchen — a chain store in DC and NoVA whose workers are in the process of unionizing — fired three outspoken union supporters on spurious grounds. The firings follow a spate of union-busting activity organized by Union Kitchen management in an attempt to break up the staff’s organizing efforts. Union Kitchen workers submitted union ballots a few weeks ago. Official ballots are still being counted; however, Union Kitchen workers are extremely confident that ballots being contested by management will be in the union’s favor.

To stay in the loop on how to support the workers’ union, follow United Kitchen Workers on Instagram (@unitedkitchenworkers) and Twitter (@UKworkersunited), and sign this digital petition in support of the workers’ organizing efforts.


Publications Schedule: The final weekly Update for April will be Friday, April 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. 

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 16

noon | Max Socol Canvass at Viers Mill ELM

Sunday, April 17

11am | National DSA International Committee panel “The World We Have: Intro to Global Economics”

1pm | Vets for Socialism Study Group

5 – 6:30pm | Internationalism Working Group Monthly Meeting

Monday, April 18

6 – 7:30 | BDS and Palestine April Meeting

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 

6 – 9pm | Zach & PAC Happy Hour/Fundraiser at City-State Brewing

Wednesday, April 20

6 – 7pm | WePower DC All-Team Meeting and Public Power Pledge Launch!

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

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

Thursday, April 21

6pm | Lessons for the Left: Infiltration, Surveillance, and Policing in the Muslim Community (DSA national event)

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

Friday, April 22

6 – 8pm | We Power Social Hour(s)

Saturday, April 23

11am – noon | Virtual Field Trip: Maryland Center for History and Culture (Indigenous Peoples of the Chesapeake)  

Sunday, April 24

1 – 3pm | PG County Branch Monthly General Meeting discussing Greenbelt Reparations Panel campaign

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

Tuesday, April 26

7pm | Religion & The Left Series: The Individual, the Collective & the Common Good (DSA national event)

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

Monday, May 2

7 – 8:30pm | Labor Reading Group week 5 

Tuesday, May 3

8pm | Political Engagement Committee Biweekly Meeting

Wednesday, May 4

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

Thursday, May 5

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

Monday, May 9

6:30 – 7:30pm | Medicare 4 All Working Group Biweekly Meeting | #M4A

Wednesday, May 11

7 – 9pm | The Dawn of Everything Reading Group mtg 10

Thursday, May 12

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

7 – 8:30pm | Internationalism Working Group Monthly Meeting 

Sunday, May 15

3 – 5pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting (link to come)

Monday, May 16

7 – 8:30pm | Labor Reading Group week 6


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

On Saturday, April 16 from 11am to 1pm, Share a Seed will unveil their first “Little Free Seed Library” at the UDC Bertie Backus Urban Food Hub (Ward 5). The seed libraries were built by Youth Build DC and will be shared at urban farm and community garden locations. Attendees can help paint and decorate the seed library, share and 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.

Wangari Gardens Spring Festival and Community Work Day | Wangari Gardens

Spring has sprung and DC’s community gardens are growing greener by the day! On Saturday, April 16 from 11am to 2pm you can join the green thumbs at Wangari Gardens (Kenyon St NW between Irving St NW and Park Pl NW) for a community day to swap seeds, enjoy free refreshments and help paint the garden’s brand new welcome sign. Bring a chair, water and work gloves if you have them!

Community Easter Egg Hunt | Ward 6 Mutual Aid et al

Still looking for Easter plans, particularly for your little ones? On Saturday, April 16, Ward 6 Mutual Aid and James Creek Resident Council will host a community Easter celebration at 100 North Street SW. Food, drinks, games and an Easter egg hunt will all be on offer, free to all community members.

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 the Sears, Roebuck president who founded hundreds of schools for Black children in the 1920s, including 25-plus in Prince George’s County. More info and sign up for the Zoom link here.

Produce Plus Enrollment for the 2022 Season Begins May 1st!

Produce Plus is funded by DC Health and provides locally grown, fresh produce to DC residents with limited access to fresh, healthy food. Here’s how Produce Plus works: From early June through the end of September, program participants get $40/month to spend on local produce of their choosing at select farmers markets and farm stands throughout the District. These funds increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables while simultaneously generating meaningful income for local farmers, many of whom are also first-generation farmers and BIPOC farmers.


It’s Time to Nationalize the Fossil Fuel Industry — From Thom Hartmann: “Squeals of “socialism!” aside, we know how to do this and have done it before, repeatedly. This time it’s not just about saving our banks or fighting a war: this time, it’s about saving the world …” 

From Bay Journal, another pressing reason our electric power system must be publicly owned: “The rollout of solar and other renewable energy projects that Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia are counting on to end fossil-fuel reliance is caught up in a review bottleneck that is severely hampering the transition.”

Inflation Pt. 1 — Why is inflation higher in the US, where megacorps have nearly unregulated pricing power, compared to other rich-world nations? Woops, look over here, can we interest you in some slaughter of civilians? Corporate Media Ignores Bernie’s Corporate Greed Hearing: “Massive coverage of the war in Ukraine does not offend advertisers, while the corporate war on consumers directly involves corporate advertisers.” By Ralph Nader via Portside

And Pt. 2  Inflation: Reframing the Narrative from The Bullet via Portside — Sam Gindin suggests higher interest rates won’t remedy the specific sort of inflation we are experiencing; “What higher interest rates are most likely to bring on is both a stagnant economy and continued inflation — stagflation. Moreover, since the shortages are generally understood to be temporary and expected to self-correct in a year or two, the appropriate response isn’t to add to the transitional pain, but rather to take steps to alleviate the most extreme social impacts of price increases.”

Federal Workers: recent guidance on labor relations from the Office of Personnel Management, which stems from a Biden executive order, is much to do about nothing. With the exception of very weak local unions combined with unusually backwards management, these are rights that we already have. The Biden executive order appears to me to be mostly the same.

“How did schools and libraries come to claim that technology could solve poverty? Why did this belief seem so forceful in the early 2010s? What do we mean when we say kids should have access to technology?” Those questions and many more are covered in this interview with professor Daniel Greene, a DC lifer whose book, The Promise of Access, is in many ways about the tragedy of “the city’s failure to meet the needs of poorer residents, while putting the interests of a new generation of gentrifiers first.”

On the Global Ecosocialist Network, our comrade David Schwartzman writes that the Pentagon doesn’t only contribute to ongoing climate catastrophe via emissions: “… its role as the enforcement arm of the Military Industrial complex and its imperialist regime change agenda … stands in the way of achieving the global cooperation needed to meet the IPCC goal, along with the $2 trillion a year now going to the global military expenditures.”

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