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May 13, 2022
MDC DSA General Body Meeting — This Sunday, May 15th at 7pm
Zachary Parker Continues to Gain Grassroots and Progressive Endorsements
Stomp Out Slumlords to Throw Protest Party — TONIGHT at 5pm
MDC DSA General Body Meeting — This Sunday, May 15th at 7pm
Join us this Sunday at 7pm for our monthly general body meeting. Our general body meetings convene 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, we’ll be hearing from our Membership Engagement Committee (MEC) on some of their deep work around member mobilization, the plan for leading on reproductive rights and report-backs from other campaigns and chapter formations. 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 spend a Sunday evening! Sign up here.
Zachary Parker Continues to Gain Grassroots and Progressive Endorsements
On Thursday, Councilmember Janeese Lewis George announced her endorsement of Zachary Parker’s candidacy in Ward 5, citing her time working with Zachary through the State Board of Education. Janeese’s endorsement joins the wide array of community, labor and progressive organizations that have endorsed Zachary in the city, including: DC for Democracy, Sunrise Movement (DC), Working Families Party (DC), Our Revolution DC, Jews United for Justice, 32BJ SEIU, the Washington Teachers Union and (just this week) Greater Greater Washington. A victory in Ward 5 would entrench a left-labor-progressive bloc on the District Council not seen since the ’80s.
The DSA has been a critical component of Zach Parker’s campaign operation. To date, DSA has organized 38 unique canvassers and knocked on over 19,390 doors over the past two months.
On Saturday, DSA members will be meeting in Fort Totten at 5403 Chillum Pl NE at 11am for a Volunteers Brunch with Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George. We will then set off to canvass at 12:30pm and end around 4:30pm, with happy hour afterward. If you cannot make it to the brunch, you can still join DSA and the campaign at 12:30 for the canvass launch.
Stomp Out Slumlords to throw Protest Party — TONIGHT at 5pm
Regular tenants in this city want to ask Mayor Muriel Bowser about the slum conditions her administration permits. Tenants have rats in their buildings; mold gives children asthma; and their promised rental assistance checks went missing. But Mayor Bowser has been dodging these questions throughout her campaign.
At an exclusive rooftop fundraiser on May 13, however, Mayor Bowser will be happy to party with guests who don’t face any of these issues. At 5pm, outside Uline Arena, Stomp Out Slumlords will be hosting a protest party featuring music, food and flyers to share information about how the DC government neglects everyday people’s living conditions. You can join us to help us bring these urgent questions to Mayor Bowser — sign up here.
AND! Metro DC DSA’s Stomp Out Slumlords (SOS) is fundraising to send delegates from SOS to Los Angeles in late June for the first convention of the Autonomous Tenants Union Network (ATUN)! Our approximately 15 delegates are a diverse set of working-class tenant leaders/organizers in their respective buildings and in the militant tenant citywide movement that SOS has spent the past few years building. Learn more and donate here.
International Potluck & Book Exchange — TOMORROW at 1pm
Join Metro DC DSA comrades for our Internationalism Working Group’s Potluck & Book Exchange on Saturday, May 14th, from 1 to 4pm at the north end (16th & Euclid NW) of Malcolm X Park in DC. The new DSA book exchange group will also be at the potluck with food for thought: books! RSVP now. Although light rain is in the forecast, canopies will be on-site to provide cover. In the case of cancellation, we’ll notify those who have signed up and post appropriate notice in the chapter’s Slack.
Socialist Feminist Section Grrrl’s Night Happy Hour at As You Are — TONIGHT at 5pm
The SocFem Section will meet up tonight, Friday, May 13th, from 5 to 7pm and then stay as late as comrades wish. The Socialist Feminist Reading Group will be joining the Section as we take a needed breather from the action in response to the leaked draft opinion.
As You Are is a lesbian-owned, inclusive Queer bar, coffeehouse, and cafe located at 500 8th St SE. Men (cis or trans), please do not attend unless you have been part of the spring reading group. RSVP here!
ICE Out of Arlington Mobilizing for Action — TOMORROW at 8:30am
The ICE Out of Arlington campaign is mobilizing this Saturday, May 14th at 8:30am to join the county board meeting at the Arlington County Government Center (2100 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201) to pressure the board to pass protections outlined in the CAPA policy (Communities of Arlington Protected from Abuse by ICE). In addition to joining us this Saturday, you can sign and share this petition in support of CAPA.
And an urgent request from support from local mutual aid organizers: Gov Ducey of Arizona is joining Texas Gov Abbott in busing migrants to DC as part of their inhumane publicity stunt. Communities in NOVA and DC are organizing to support those arriving. To donate, you can send funds through Paypal (preferred) or venmo @SanctuaryDMV w/ “Texas Solidarity” in the memo. For an expanded list of ways to help, you can check out Free Them All VA’s recent communications.
MDC DSA Steering Committee Fills Vacancy by Acclamation
A vacancy opened up on Metro DC DSA’s steering committee three weeks ago, and nominations to fill the position were opened last week. Following one week of nominating, one candidate has accepted their nomination to run for the open Steering Committee At-Large seat. There is only one candidate, Diego J (@Diego J. on the chapter’s Slack), who has won the seat by acclamation. As always, DSA members are invited to join the bi-weekly Steering Committee meetings (every other Tuesday at 7pm) and can interact with the steering committee in the #steering channel on the chapter Slack.
Fund-A-Thon Events Benefiting the DC Abortion Fund
More than ever, local abortion funds are essential to ensure equitable access to care. DCAF works with clients all across the DMV, including those traveling to DC for care, to ensure that everyone can access safe abortion care.
Huge thank you to everyone who has donated and attended or signed up for events already! So far, we have raised over $8,000 and are on our way to meeting our goal of $15,000.
To support the campaign:
- You can order a baked good box from our Virtual Bake Sale from now until May 20th. If you would like to volunteer your baking skills for this event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Boxes will be delivered on Sunday, May 22nd.
- On Monday, May 23rd at 7pm, we will have Trivia Night at Midlands Beer Garden. Each teammate can register ahead of time or at the event. This event was really fun last year, so we are very excited to have it in person this year!
- Virtual Bingo is now open! Fill out the Action Network form to receive your bingo card. For each “bingo,” you will be entered into a prize raffle at the end of the month.
All events are open to everyone! Feel free to invite non-DSA friends, family and community members as well as comrades. To join our team or make a donation, visit our donation page here!
Primary Day Settled in Maryland — MoCo Electoral Operations Continue This Weekend
Primary Day is settled in Maryland. Whew! Here’s a voter info roundup from our Progressive Maryland allies:
- Register to vote (if you are not yet registered or if you moved): Tuesday, June 28
- Early Voting: Thursday, July 7 to Thursday, July 14; Check your local Board of Elections website for locations and hours.
- Mail-in Option: Request a ballot until July 12; Click here to learn how you can request a mail-in ballot
- Primary Election Day: Tuesday, July 19; Check your local Board of Elections website for locations and hours.
MoCo Electoral Campaigns Continue This Weekend
Chapter-endorsed candidate and current state Delegate Gabriel Acevero (D-Montgomery) will hold his first campaign canvasses this weekend. The MoCo electoral working group plans to join the campaign canvass on Sunday, May 15, starting at noon at the Gaithersburg Library. RSVP here.
Later this Sunday, starting at 4pm, chapter member Steve M will hold a BBQ and fundraiser for Gabe in his front yard in Bethesda. The location is walkable from both the Bethesda and Medical Center metros. RSVP here and donate to Gabe’s re-election here.
Chapter members will also be joining Max Socol’s campaign canvass on Saturday, May 13, launching from Randolph Hills Local Park in the Viers Mills area of Silver Spring. RSVP here.
Email email@example.com if you need a ride or can provide a ride to canvassers.
Abortion Rights Protest Planned Saturday, May 21st at 2pm
Metro DC DSA will continue mobilizing to stand up for abortion rights. In addition to supporting other organizations, MDC DSA will be hosting two protests at the Supreme Court in the coming weeks. The first will be held on Saturday, May 21st at 2pm, and the second will be held on Thursday, May 26th at 7pm. We also plan to hold a political education event at the Supreme Court in the first week of June — more details to come. Be there with a sign in your hand and solidarity in your heart!
Defund & Refunk the District Is Looking for Volunteers
In collaboration with local artist collective the Good Vibe Tribe, the Defund MPD Working Group is organizing our next Defund & Refunk the District on Saturday, June 11, from 1 to 3pm — this time in SW DC! Comrades Sela and Amanda are looking for volunteers to assist with facilitating discussions on reimagining safety in DC during the event, as well as for help with day-of logistics, childcare and Spanish interpretation. Please email Amanda if you would like to get involved!
Forum for DSA’s National Political Committee Vacancy Candidates Scheduled for May 18
Under the national DSA bylaws, NPC vacancies (currently, there are three) are filled by a majority vote of the remaining sitting NPC members. There are three MDC DSA members on the shortlist of potential new NPC members, as shown in the NPC Candidate Packet. The forum, Wednesday, May 18 at 8pm, has a signup link here. The NPC vacancy appointments will be made by the NPC current steering committee.
Congressional Workers Union Secure Right to Organize
On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives voted 217-202 to grant Congressional staff the right to form a union and bargain collectively without threat of retaliation. Representative Andy Levin introduced the bill. This legislation came as the direct result of the organizing efforts of the Congressional Workers Union, who first publicly announced their intent to unionize congressional staff in February. For years, Congressional staff have been underpaid and overworked. Staff have cited abusive work environments, a lack of diversity in Congressional offices, and financial instability as just a few of the reasons that they are working to unionize. Each Congressional office will operate as their own bargaining unit. This bill will cover House staff specifically, and does not extend to the Senate. The Senate will have to pass its own resolution, which would require support from 10 Republicans to overcome the filibuster.
DC’s Budget Wars
The District Council is finalizing markup on the 2023 budget. The votes and decisions included in the budget will have a big impact on the structure of the District over the next year.
Legislation drafted by Brianne Nadeau and Janeese Lewis George would have replenished funds for the DC Cares program, which provided financial support to workers in DC excluded by an EITC expansion being raised in the City Council. The legislation failed the first vote in the Council, but the CMs and workers are still pushing for inclusion in the 2022 budget. (Read Washington City Paper’s analysis here.)
The DC Council voted against Mayor Bowser’s plan to reintroduce cops in schools, which was recommended by the DC Police Reform Commission and requested by student organizers in the District. Councilmembers Allen (Ward 6), Bonds (At-large), Lewis-George (Ward 4), Nadeau (Ward 1), Silverman (At-large), Henderson (At-large) and Robert White (At-large) voted to maintain the phaseout of DC police in schools. The DC Council did reject millions in perks for DC police officers, though it also approved a general increase in MPD’s budget, which includes funds that will allow it to expand the number of officers by about 30 officers next year (MPD has already struggled to fill the expanded roles it allotted last year).
Pay PW County Workers Enough to Live Where They Work
Prince William County workers are essential but they haven’t been treated that way. Without their consistent hard work and dedication, life in the sixth-wealthiest county in the country would grind to a halt. This isn’t a problem of scarcity, but of priorities. Despite the county’s resources, more than 1-in-3 Prince William workers cannot afford to live in the county, which also has an annual public employee turnover rate of 11%. Per a recent report, “Local government public employees in Virginia are typically paid 29.9% less than their private-sector peers with similar levels of education, age, and hours worked, one of the largest pay penalties in the country.”
County workers are tired of being left behind, and it’s why they’re coming together to form a union. Through collective bargaining with SEIU Virginia 512, they will be able to have a say in how the county is run. The first step is getting enough signed union support cards to get to the bargaining table. Help Prince William County workers form their union by sending this union support card to any that you know.
Publications Schedule: Weekly Updates in May are Fridays, May 20 and 27, and the June issue of the Washington Socialist is scheduled for Friday, June 3, with an article deadline of May 28.
June Updates are Fridays, June 10, 17, and 21, and the July issue of the Washington Socialist appears Friday, July 1 in advance of what will likely be an event-filled weekend.
Write for us anytime; hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org (all writers welcome, DSA members or not). If an MDC DSA member, join our #publications Slack channel to keep up with the chatter. We build each weekly Update and monthly newsletter in a shared doc that is initiated nearly a week before publication. Got socialist stuff going on? Join lots of other MDC DSA activists in the shared doc and reach ~6,000 comrades in the DMV Left every week – just contact us at #publications for onboarding.
Have a story or essay about a better anti-capitalist future? Send it to ATS!
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 are paying writers in the DC area $50 for all accepted stories, sponsored by Metro DC DSA. Send your pitches to email@example.com and check out our submission guide here.
To get on MDC DSA Slack there’s a new path, and the most intuitive ever: email firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the email address by which the 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.
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!
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Friday, May 13
7 – 9pm | PG DSA social
Saturday, May 14
6pm | MoCo DSA May Social
Sunday, May 15
7 – 9pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting
Monday, May 16
6:30 – 9pm | Labor Reading Group week 6
Tuesday, May 17
Wednesday, May 18
6 – 7pm | WePower DC All Team Meeting
Thursday, May 19
6:30 – 7:30pm | Cuba Campaign Planning Meeting
Friday, May 20
Sunday, May 22
11am – 3pm | Fund-A-Thon Virtual Bake Sale Delivery
Monday May 23
6:30 – 7:30pm | Medicare 4 All Working Group Biweekly Meeting
Tuesday, May 24
8 – 9:30pm | Political Education Working Group meeting
Wednesday, May 25
Thursday, May 26
5 – 6pm | Public Power Action at Pepco HQ
6:30 – 7:30pm | Cuba Campaign Planning Meeting
Miner Elementary Community Table | Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid
Ward 6 Mutual Aid hosts their recurring Community Table event on Saturday, May 14 at Miner Elementary (601 15th Street NE), sharing free food boxes, clothing, household goods, COVID-19 supplies and more with community members. Details here.
Bans Off Our Bodies | Planned Parenthood
Organizations and individuals are organizing protests, strikes and rallies across the country in support of protecting abortion and reproductive rights. On Saturday, May 14, many will join a national day of protest. Find an event near you using Planned Parenthood’s Bans Off Our Bodies map.
Mother’s Day Free Market and Swap — Rain Date! | Ward 4 Mutual Aid
Ward 4 Mutual Aid will hold a solidarity swap and free market on Saturday, May 14 (postponed from May 7 due to rain) at 6000 Georgia Ave NW. The swap will run from noon to 4pm and feature gently used maternity items, baby gear/toys and more. To donate or sign up for a volunteer shift, go to bit.ly/May7Swap.
Open Mic Night | HIPS DC + Decrim Poverty DC
HIPS DC is excited to host their first-ever annual open mic night on Sunday, May 15 at 6pm! Ticket sales will go towards establishing an emergency fund for sex workers struggling with crisis or other immediate needs. Performers are still able to sign up here and will get two free tickets. All are welcome! If ticket prices aren’t accessible, please email email@example.com to be sent a promo code for free entry.
Spring Cleaning Clothing Swap | Remora House and Food Not Bombs DC
On Sunday, May 15 from 4 to 7pm, Remora House and Food Not Bombs DC will host an all-ages, all-genders clothing swap at Dwell (1200 Florida Ave NE). Take and/or drop off as much as you need.
Fight Like Hell Book Launch | Kim Kelly + Politics & Prose
Philadelphia-based writer Kim Kelly comes to DC on Saturday, May 28 (postponed from May 3) to promote her new book, Fight Like Hell, a revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement. The book launch event will be at DC’s only unionized book store, Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW. The event will be moderated by Sara Nelson, who has served as the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO since 2014 and is currently serving her second four-year term. This event is free, but RSVPs are suggested (you can also pre-order a signed copy of the book with registration).
Remembering the Flesh: The Body as Technology and Machine | Wangari Gardens
Join Brittany and Amanda, local socialists, for the first of three writing workshops at Wangari Gardens on Saturday, May 21, from 10am to 12pm! Readers and writers of science fiction and cyberpunk, how might we remember and interpret the body even as we construct and engage in virtual worlds? This (free!) workshop will examine the assumptions we make of the body as machine and imagine the body as part of a wider community of nature. RSVP here!
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
Wealthy nations are carving up space and its riches — and leaving other countries behind. From The Conversation: “Inequity is already playing out in access to satellites. In the not-so-distant future, the ability to extract resources from the Moon and asteroids could become a major point of difference between the space haves and have-nots. As policies emerge, there is the risk that these inequities become permanent.” Will it be Elon and Jeff B versus The State for all the marbles?
New Warren-Jayapal Bill Takes Aim at Supreme Court ‘Corruption’ — from Common Dreams, “The Supreme Court is currently the only court in the United States that is not governed by a code of ethics, leaving justices free to accept lavish gifts from partisan actors, attend political fundraisers, and participate in cases in which they have glaring conflicts of interest.” A bill introduced Tuesday seeks to remedy that.
Are millennial leftists aging into right-wingers? From WaPo — “Today … the Republican Party has abandoned the idea of even offering a platform: You either hate the cringey, crooked lying libs or you don’t. A left that already enjoys dwelling on the misdeeds of the Democratic elite — ‘denying’ Bernie Sanders the presidency and so on — is an open door for conservatives to push.”
The top data analyst for the med/sci/pol newsletter STAT has a 50,000-foot view of the pandemic, The ‘five pandemics’ driving 1 million U.S. Covid deaths, picked apart and displayed in numerous ways for this grim mathematical moment. “In reality, this milestone was likely unofficially crossed days or weeks ago, and we’ll never know the exact toll or the identity of the pandemic’s actual millionth victim.”
For In These Times, the aforementioned Kim Kelly writes of the importance of labor’s commitment to abortion rights. “There is no time to mince words: Abortion rights are a labor issue, and this is a moment in which the labor movement needs to make clear that bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom are core issues that unions will fight tooth and nail to preserve.”
From Jacobin: The Texas National Guard, after shitty treatment by Greg Abbott despotism, is unionizing.
From After the Storm — Argentinian writer Gustavo Bondoni gives us “Flowers in the Mud,” a heartbreaking story of a teenager named Kwakú scavenging for parts discarded by other countries.
DC Police Officer Arrested on Gun Charges in PG County — Officer Sfoglia “is accused of first-degree assault and use of a firearm in a violent crime after Prince George’s County police say he brandished a weapon and threatened an employee at a Beltsville business early Friday morning.” Sfoglia had previously run an instagram account called American_Cops, which was taken down after posting racist content. This comes amid reports that “U.S. police trainers with far-right ties are teaching hundreds of cops.”
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.