June 17, 2022

June 17, 2021



  • All hands on deck — last weekend to GOTV for Zachary Parker

  • DC polls close Tuesday, June 21

  • Join a Metro DC DSA reading group this summer

All hands on deck — last weekend to GOTV for Zachary Parker

Electing Zachary Parker to the Ward 5 DC Council seat is an opportunity to create a progressive bloc on the Council. His seat would help to pass vital legislation for working people in the District — including passing and defending Initiative 82, protecting workers and renters, protecting and expanding abortion and gender-affirming care, winning public power, developing public housing and investing in communities instead of over-policing. But recent polls show that Zachary is neck and neck with Vincent Orange, the corporate and developer-backed former head of the DC Chamber of Commerce. The DSA has knocked over 28,000 doors throughout the course of the campaign — and you can help us get to 30,000 doors and bring a working-class champion to the District Council! Sign up for a shift of weekend canvassing or polling place outreach here.

DC polls close Tuesday, June 21

DC’s primary election day is next Tuesday, June 21. This year, there are a number of important elections happening in the Democratic primary which are likely to shape the political and ideological future of the city for the next few years. The DSA has endorsed Zachary Parker for Ward 5 Council seat — but there are a number of city and ward-wide positions that are up for election. Need help figuring out where or how to vote? Check out the DC Board of Elections website. (Did you vote by mail? Be advised that some residents have reported issues that voters have needed to fix before their ballot is counted. You can track your ballot on the DC BOE’s BallotTrax system.)

Not sure how to look at DC’s local elections? Head over to REDBUG, now live on the Washington Socialist. The system tracks candidates running for the DC Council — including fundraising numbers, positions along a few key issues and notable endorsements. We also include an archive of available debates, forums and voter guides that have been published around the District.

On election night, be sure to check in on DSA’s social media handles (@mdc_dsa on Twitter and Instagram).

Join a Metro DC DSA reading group this summer

Metro DC DSA’s Political Education Working Group is proud to host three reading groups this summer! Starting in late June, groups will be on:

  • Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch (Tuesday nights)
  • Murray Bookchin’s Post-Scarcity Anarchism (Wednesday nights)
  • Mark Fisher’s Anti-Capitalist Music Criticism (Sunday nights)

Sign up using this form here. If you’re interested in leading or developing a reading group for Fall 2022 or Spring 2023, sign up here or reach out to either Jackson or Elizabeth using the contact information on the sign-up sheet.


Canvass for Gabriel Acevero and Max Socol in June and July

After next week’s DC election, we will have four more weekends to knock doors to keep DSA champion Del. Gabriel Acevero (D-Montgomery) in office and help chapter member Max Socol knock off a conservative incumbent and win election to the Maryland State Senate. If you can come out any weekend between June 25 and July 19, fill out this form. Having conversations with voters right before they vote is one of the single best ways to build community support for our endorsed candidates. We will make every effort to make sure that everyone who can canvass has a ride.

NoVA Branch Updates

Sign up to phonebank to mobilize NoVA DSA Members on Wednesdays from 6 to 7pm (at your own computer but virtually “together” with other phonebankers). 

Medicare 4 ALL: If you’d like to help get a M4A resolution passed in Alexandria, please email novabranch@mdcdsa.org. 

NoVA Branch needs Spanish speakers! Please sign up here to translate docs like a fact sheet from English to Spanish.

The Migrant Justice Working Group and the Defund NoVA Police Working Group have an ICE out of Arlington action at the Arlington County Board meeting this Saturday, June 18th, at 8:30am to show community support for the Communities of Arlington Protected from Abuse by ICE (CAPA) policy proposal (read more about CAPA here!). Please RSVP here so we can coordinate directly with you.


DSA Tabling at the Columbia Heights Day Festival — TOMORROW, Saturday, June 18

Our chapter will be tabling at the Columbia Heights Day Festival tomorrow, Saturday, June 18 from 11am to 6pm. Catch us on the Tubman Elementary School field (3101 13th St NW) under the large tent! Stop by for lit, merch and, most of all, to chat with your comrades. Able to volunteer? We’re still looking for folks to help with setup starting at 9:30am, tabling all day, and teardown starting at 6pm. DM Amanda L. (she/they) on Slack or email them at amandaliawhs@gmail.com to help out!


Social Media and Communications Team Meeting — Wednesday, June 29 at 6:30pm

MDC DSA’s Communications Team is looking for comrades to help create and publish social media content. We will be holding an initial meeting in person on Wednesday, June 29 from 6:30 to 7:30pm at the MLK Library (901 G St NW) for new and existing comrades to brainstorm ways to simply and creatively repurpose existing chapter content for our social media platforms. This is a great place for you to develop a shared understanding of our content, clarify the roles and responsibilities needed to make it happen and meet your fellow comrades doing good work. RSVP here.

MDC YDSA National Conference — Please Support Our Future

YDSA has a National Convention in Minneapolis, MN, from July 22 to July 24th. This is an opportunity for young socialists to meet face-to-face and collectively shape the direction of the organization with comrades from around the country. Some of our chapters are sending delegates, but high travel costs are a barrier to participation for some of the potential convention attendees.

Our regional YDSA chapters — at Howard, Georgetown, George Mason, George Washington, University of Maryland, Catholic University and American University — are already engaged in important work, with a particular emphasis on labor organizations. American U, Howard U, GMU, University of Maryland and Catholic University have been able to organize workers in their schools. GWU will be considering organizing graduate students in the fall, as their initial attempt was disrupted by the pandemic.

In other words, our YDSA chapters are important today and will be of increasing importance in the future. These are future and current MDC DSA members who will bring experience organizing for socialism as they enter our chapter — and they will benefit greatly from gathering with their fellow comrades in Minneapolis.

Please consider donating what you can to our delegates in order to send them to the YDSA conference! We have so many issues that we need to continue to address now and in our collective future. Please contact @Meena K on Slack with any questions or suggestions. Here’s where you can donate:

Extending Voting Rights to Immigrants — DC Council Hearing on July 7

The DC Council’s Committee on Judiciary & Public Safety is holding a hearing on 𝐉𝐮𝐥𝐲 𝟕 from 9:30am to 3pm on the 𝙇𝙤𝙘𝙖𝙡 𝙍𝙚𝙨𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙑𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙍𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙨 𝘼𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝘼𝙘𝙩. The bill would give green card-holding permanent DC residents the right to vote for mayor, councilmembers, attorney general, SBOE, ANCs, initiatives, referendums, recalls and charter referendums. More info on the bill can be found here.

The campaign is looking for residents who would like to testify on this critical issue before the Council. If you’d like to sign up to provide a statement, follow this link.


Publications Schedule

Just one more Update this month — Friday, June 24 — and we’ll publish our July Washington Socialist newsletter on Friday, July 1. Send your articles — including updates on our campaigns — to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org or hit us up on Slack at #publications. Updates in July are scheduled for Fridays, July 1 (with the newsletter), 8, 15 and 22 and the August Washington Socialist is scheduled for Friday, July 29.

Metro DC DSA is a large organization with a lot going on and a great political education resource to explore on our website at the “Get involved” button. One of the richest is our Socialist Night School archive, which offers just short of forty past night school sessions, many of them either recorded or transcribed. Check it out.



March on Washington | Poor People’s Campaign 

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 18, the Poor People’s Campaign march convenes at 9:30am at 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave NW. Info, buses to the event and FAQs are here. News release showing broad labor support is here.

Movie Premier — Barry Farm: Community, Land, and Justice in Washington, DC | Empower DC

Empower DC invites you to the 4pm Saturday, June 18 premiere screening of Barry Farm: Community, Land, and Justice in Washington, DC, which provides first-hand accounts of life in one of the oldest sections of Washington, DC, initially set aside by the Freedmen’s Bureau for formerly enslaved African Americans to purchase land, build homes and establish a community. The screening is at 4pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library. The film amplifies the voices of overlooked but important constituencies in our city and the importance of public housing. Register for the screening.

Compost Coop Training and Work Day | Common Good City Farm

Interested in joining the Compost Cooperative? Attend this upcoming training at Common Good City Farm on Sunday, June 19! Once you have attended the training, you will be able to drop off your food scraps in the compost bin at any time. Training will take place from 10:30 to 11:30am for people who are interested in joining the coop. The Compost Work Day will take place from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Volunteers will assist in moving composting materials between bins. RSVP here.

Juneteenth Jubilee | Harriet’s Wildest Dreams

Join Harriet’s Wildest Dreams for a Juneteenth Jubilee on Sunday, June 19 at Freedom Plaza (14th and Pennsylvania NW). Musical performances, poetry and solidarity are on the menu. For more information or to volunteer, click here.

Documentary Screening, Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars | Reel & Meal

Monday, June 20 at 7pm, the Reel & Meal presents Robert Greenwald’s Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars, either live at the New Deal Cafe (113 Centerway, Greenbelt) or by Zoom. To attend by Zoom, pre-register here and join after 6:45pm. Those attending in person at the cafe are welcome after 4pm; a vegan meal will be served. In Unmanned Greenwald investigates the impact of US drone strikes at home and abroad through over 70 interviews, including some with those who remotely piloted lethally armed drones.


Socialism Is Supposed to Be a Working-Class Movement. Why Isn’t It?” Ezra Klein’s NYT podcast with the Jacobin founder, Bhaskar Sunkara, who engages with the progressive left’s setbacks in winning power — and elections — in America.

Brazil faces a close, contentious election in October. Jair Bolsonaro’s disputed presidential win last time was rooted in disinformation spread by WhatsApp (owned by Facebook, remember?) This time Bolsonaro is already raising the (false) likelihood of election fraud. “It’s like a slow-motion coup. When we ask the internet platforms, how are you preparing for this? What are you going to do if you have the president or one of his allies hosting a live video on Facebook saying, ‘You should go confront poll workers because they are stealing the election?’ They don’t seem to have a plan,” media analyst Patricia Campos Mello tells an interviewer from The Markup. 

The first round of French parliamentary elections this past weekend appeared to show first-place honors for Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s NUPES grand coalition of left parties, though only by a whisker. Here’s a sober and scholarly assessment (from The Conversation, which specializes in them) of the results, including the observation: “The creation of the NUPES recalled the glory days of the unified left — the Popular Front of 1936 or the Common Programme of 1972 — and tried to instill a new dynamic for these legislative elections. The slogan ‘Jean-Luc Mélenchon Prime Minister’ adopted by the coalition personified and nationalised these elections and the strategy of the ‘third round’ finally followed the logic of presidentialisation of the regime.”

AND in this interesting cross-national assessment from The Guardian of left political strategy across the rich world, Mélenchon and Bernie are bracketed as firebrands tempered, each moving more social-democratic (in their respective political environments) than previously.

Back to the US left: Effective external activism has been hindered by crises of internal disharmony among left groups. “Instead of fueling a groundswell of public support to reinvigorate the [Democratic] party’s ambitious agenda, most of the foundation-backed organizations that make up the backbone of the party’s ideological infrastructure were still spending their time locked in virtual retreats, Slack wars, and healing sessions, grappling with tensions over hierarchy, patriarchy, race, gender, and power,” Ryan Grim writes in The Intercept. As noted by many of our comrades, Grim’s account is heavy on management-level testimony, and not so much attention is paid to the workers many of those executives are frustrated with. For more on worker testimony, Chapter 5 of Sarah Jaffe’s Work Won’t Love You Back (2021), a recent MDC DSA reading-group focus, provides worker testimony about “Suffering for the Cause” …

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