June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022



  • Left, labor and progressive bloc wins big in DC elections

  • Marching up to MoCo — electoral organizing continues into this weekend

  • Solidarity with Amy’s Kitchen in Petworth and Takoma Park — Saturday from 10:45am to 1pm

Left, labor and progressive bloc wins big in DC elections

On Tuesday, DSA-endorsed Zachary Parker won Ward 5’s election — following 40,000 doors knocked by the DSA, Zachary Parker won his campaign for Ward 5 handily, coming in with over 40% of the vote (the closest competitor, Bowser-backed Faith Gibson-Hubbard collected about 24%). The victory shifts Ward 5 — a majority non-white, working-class ward — from being represented by a capital-friendly moderate to being represented by a staunch leftist. (Read the write-up in Washington City Paper.)

At time of writing, there are still over 30,000 day-of mail in ballots that need to be counted, so election results will change — but given the margins, the outcomes are unlikely to shift (although Ward 3’s race is close, and the DC Shadow Rep election is razor thin.

On the whole, District voters opted to boost left, progressive candidates over moderate alternatives. In Ward 1, Brianne Nadeau comfortably held her seat following a dark-money-backed right-wing challenge from an ex-cop. Nadeau has championed immigrant rights, strengthening rent control, and has largely championed policing alternatives as a response to intra-neighborhood violence. In Ward 3, progressives and center-left candidates later rallied behind attorney and community activist Matt Frumin. 

Voters condemned Mayor Bowser to four more years in the Wilson Building, but her support didn’t extend down-ballot. Her shadow-backed candidates in Wards 1, 3 and 5 all failed against more progressive challengers. Council Chair Mendelson barely sustained a challenge from grassroots challenger Erin Palmer — who improved on a similar push by grassroots activists back in 2018 by making strong gains in Wards 7 and 8. Anita Bonds also held on to her at-large seat on the Council, although more votes were cast for her three left-wing challengers.

You can find the Primary election results from the DC Board of Elections, and you can find our coverage of candidate positions on the Washington Socialist REDBUG.

Marching up to MoCo — electoral organizing continues into this weekend

Metro DC DSA’s electoral organizing isn’t over just yet — we’re involved in two more campaigns in Montgomery County for long-time DSA members Max Socol (MD State Senate District 18) and Gabriel Acevero (MD House of Delegates District 39). Sign up to volunteer in the home stretch of Max Socol and Gabriel Acevero’s campaigns and help us win 3/3 races this primary cycle! We need canvassers, drivers, textbankers and phonebankers!

This weekend, Gabe’s campaign is holding a canvass on Saturday in Montgomery Village at noon. The launch point is North Creek Lake Park and the campaign will be hosting an optional picnic social after! On Sunday, we’ll be joining Max Socol’s campaign canvass starting at 1pm; the launch point is the Chevy Chase library.

Solidarity with Amy’s Kitchen in Petworth and Takoma Park — Saturday from 10:45am to 1pm

This weekend is a national day of action to support workers organizing with the Teamsters and UNITE HERE at Amy’s Kitchen in the Bay Area. In coordination with the unions, DSA’s labor working group have two spots in the DMV where we’ll be passing out flyers and talking to the public about supporting a boycott of Amy’s Kitchen and contacting the company to tell them to stop union busting:

  • Yes! Organic Market — Petworth — 4100 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011
  • Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op — 201 Ethan Allen Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912

An article with more info on the struggle can be viewed here.


June GBM ballot results

Results from the June GBM ballot has closed and the results are as follows: 

Resolution 2022-05-BA01: Expand the PEC and Ensure Branch Representation

Of the 2398 voters in this election, 143 cast ballots. Yes: 24 | No: 106 | Abstain: 12

Resolution fails to pass.

Resolution 2022-06-GR05: Approve a School Board Candidate Endorsement Questionnaire

Of the 2398 voters in this election, 143 cast ballots. Yes: 128 | No: 5 | Abstain: 9

Resolution passes.

Help Columbia Heights tenants take back their homes — Buena Vista Co-op launch party on Sunday, July 3

For the past two years, the tenants of Buena Vista Apartments have fought to protect their homes and families from the greed of their slumlord. Now, they have the chance to cooperatively buy their building and create dignified, permanently affordable homes. Join us for fun times and fundraising as the Buena Vista tenants make this dream a reality! There will be live music, food and plenty of inspiration.

In January 2022, La Unión Buena Vista Tenants Association voted unanimously to pursue forming a limited-equity cooperative and have secured the initial deposit loan to buy their 34-unit building. La Unión is led by a strong team, including a president whose initial organizing experience dates back to land reform struggles in Honduras and a union leader who participated in the Justice for Janitors campaign in the 1990s, and has been supported by organizers from Stomp Out Slumlords.

Join us at Rhizome DC (6950 Maple St NW) on Sunday, July 3 from 1 to 4pm. RSVP for the event here.


Union Kitchen workers win their union — update from Union City Wednesday

Union Kitchen needs HAS a union! Knowing that the employees of Union Kitchen would vote to unionize, management spent months delaying the inevitable through legal challenges to the workers’ ballots. On Tuesday of this week, however, the National Labor Relations Board finally determined that the majority of workers voted to unionize. Despite owner Cullen Gilchrist’s relentless anti-union tactics, including the firing of at least five pro-union workers, Union Kitchen employees are the new proud members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400. “We would like to thank all of our customers, elected officials, community allies, fellow union members and supporters everywhere who never stopped believing this day would come,” said Local 400. “We know we can count on you moving forward.”

The union will now seek to negotiate their first contract with Union Kitchen — and suspect that Gilchrist will revert to the same stalling tactics and illegal union-busting that he deployed to fight unionization. MDC DSA will continue to support the workers and maintain the wave of organizing that has already swept Politics and Prose, local Starbucks locations and the Apple store in Towson, MD.


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, 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 contact @Meena K on Slack with any questions or suggestions. Here’s where you can donate: 


Publications Schedule: This is the last Update for June. The Friday, July 1 Update is also in harness with the July issue of the Washington Socialist newsletter — the article deadline for that issue is tomorrow; hit us up at thesocialist@mdcdsa.org with your contribution. Succeeding July Updates are Fridays, July 8, 15 and 22 and the Update for July 29 will also be the August issue of the newsletter.

An archival chronicle of our local chapter’s history, starting before the DSOC-NAM merger to the present day, compiled by one of our longtime members is available in the chapter website. Browse at will.


Sunday, June 26 

2pm | The World Bank and IMF: Enforcers of Empire

The IMF and World Bank claim they exist to protect the global economy and help developing countries. In reality, the primary purpose of these institutions is to act as enforcers of the will of global capital. National DSA International Committee webinar, third in a series on global economics. Register here.

3 – 5pm | MoCo DSA June Meeting

5pm | Internationalism WG Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, June 28

7:30 – 9:30pm | Caliban and the Witch reading group week 1

Wednesday, June 29

7 – 9pm | Post-scarcity Anarchism reading club week 2

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

Thursday, June 30

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


Monday, July 4

6:30 – 7:30pm | Medicare 4 All WG biweekly meeting 

Tuesday, July 5

7:30 – 9:30pm | Caliban and the Witch reading group week 2

Wednesday, July 6

7 – 9pm | Post-scarcity Anarchism reading club week 3

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

Thursday, July 7

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

7 – 8:30pm | Social Meetup NoVA branch DSA

Monday, July 11

5pm | SocFem Happy Hour before Bikini Kill

7pm | SocFem invites MDC DSA to Bikini Kill

Tuesday, July 12

7:30 – 9:30pm | Caliban and the Witch reading group week 3

Wednesday, July 13

7 – 9pm | Post-scarcity Anarchism reading club week 4

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

Thursday, July 14 (Bastille Day!)

6:30 – 8pm | NoVA Monthly Organizing Meeting

Saturday, July 16

8:30am | ICE out of Arlington at Arlington County Board meeting

Sunday, July 17

7 – 9pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting for July (signup time to be corrected)


Community Picnic and Meet-and-Greet | Ward 1 Mutual Aid

Get to know your neighbors at Ward 1 Mutual Aid’s Community Picnic event on Saturday, June 25 at 3pm! The picnic will take place on the northeast side of Malcolm X Park (near the bathrooms). Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with neighbors, organizers and community partners. There will be free food from local vendors, but please bring a chair or blanket if you do not want to sit on the grass! This is the start of an ongoing series to build relationships and dream up what we want mutual aid to look, sound and feel like in Ward 1.

Saturday School | The Claudia Jones School for Political Education

The Claudia Jones School for Political Education is hosting the second monthly Saturday School at 1pm, June 25th at the Cleveland Park Library. The discussion will be on the role and history of the US labor movement. Guest faculty include Elise Bryant from the Coalition of Labor Union Women, Chris Townsend from the Amalgamated Transit Union (retired), and Taryn Fivek from John Jay College CUNY. RSVP here.

Jump Into Positivity | Community Shoulders

Join Community Shoulders and Harriets Dreams on June 26 from 12 to 4pm as they welcome Ward 7 neighbors to this community gathering centering Black joy! Community resources, information from local advocates, a double dutch competition and more will be offered. The double dutch competition has limited spots, so be sure to sign up early here. This event takes place at the Anacostia Roller Skate Pavilion (1500 Anacostia Dr).

End Gun Violence Conference | The T.R.I.G.G.E.R. Project DC

The second annual End Gun Violence Conference takes place on Wednesday, June 29 from 12 to 5pm. Join The T.R.I.G.G.E.R. Project, Bold Yoga, LLC, Peace for DC, Sober Living Project and over 50 community-based organizations and stakeholders for a one-of-a-kind day of working collaboratively to develop comprehensive strategies that prevent gun violence. Attendees will hear from subject matter experts, survivors, women and youth from the community and academia. This event is free and offers both online and in-person options.

Discussion on Maryland’s Budget and Tax System | Maryland Center on Economic Policy

On Thursday, June 30 from 7 to 9pm, Maryland Center on Economic Policy research analyst Christopher Meyer discusses the way Maryland’s budget and tax system affects racial and economic equity. He is the author of its Budgeting for Opportunity report series focused on the way state fiscal policy choices affect Marylanders of color and is also our lead on state tax policy. The discussion will be held at Greenbelt Community Center (15 Crescent Road). Contact cmeyer@mdeconomy.org for more information.


An American History of the Socialist Idea — longtime member Harold Meyerson reviews a new book in Dissent, via Portside.

For the first time, Colombia will have a leftist president.” Ex-rebel Gustavo Petro and his running mate, Francia Marquez, won the presidential election in Colombia last weekend, becoming the first left-wing presidential administration, with Marquez, the country’s first Black vice president. 

It’s been a big couple weeks in US labor, with the first unionization of an Apple store in the country, the Labor Notes conference and the AFL-CIO convention. And in the UK, the biggest rail strikes in three decades began on Tuesday, with “union leadership warning that industrial action will ‘run as long as it needs to run.’” Read more from The Guardian

Congressional Democratic primaries in Maryland don’t get the attention they should — but when they do, it is revealing. An Intercept article on the race between Glenn Ivey and Donna Edwards points out how AIPAC (through a dark-money dummy PAC) is running negative ads against Edwards because she is not sufficiently “pro-Israel.” That the ads attack her on constituent services reflect the fundamental dishonesty of such ads — if we can’t justify sending money for arms to Israel that will be used to shoot Palestinians, let’s talk about something completely different. Read the article here

Also note this WaPo article on the attack ads that appeared on the same day. By the way, Steny Hoyer is a supporter of Glenn Ivey — another good reason to support Mckayla Wilkes in her challenge to Steny!

From Current Affairs, a meditation on patience at a time when we see activism wax and wane a little more vividly. “We may have to wait before the time is right to win a revolution, but it will be an active waiting, a time spent making the path ready, training up the next generation, and winning immediate fights to survive until our time comes.” 

Threats to Social Security? Maybe we put that worry on the back burner after George Dubya got burned trying to privatize SSA during his second term. But it is being revived by nominations of identifiable privatizers like this dude, nominated by … Joe Biden. Jacobin has the story.

John Harris, gray eminence of Politico, writes about the recent anguished discussion on progressive left organizations expending energy on internal disputes. In an interesting piece of analysis, he nails us, i.e., socialists, to the wall — at least theory-wise — as “lumpers” who “see American society in need of a sustained and comprehensive overhaul, and are wary of people, even potential allies, who don’t share this synoptic worldview. A core assumption is a commitment to “intersectionality” — the concept that contemporary power arrangements reflect historic and overlapping patterns of discrimination on grounds of race, class and gender and that progress on specific issues must include challenging the underlying power structure.” Also in the progressive ranks are “splitters” who may see the world the same way but will take incremental victories — and more narrowly focused allies — when they can get them. Harris is sympathetic to both and brings in a useful history overview.

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