July 22, 2022

July 22, 2022



  • Maryland Election Results

  • DSA Cuba Campaign pushed vote to extend credit lines to Cuba onto floor of Congress

  • ABCs of ANCs: Learn about running for hyperlocal government in DC — Weds, July 27 at 8pm

Maryland Election Results

On Tuesday, Maryland residents cast their primary ballots for local and federal government. You can find the county-by-county primary results here.

Result highlights from the election:

  • In District 39, DSA endorsed Gabe Acevero is in second (out of four candidates) with 28.86% of the vote. Three of the candidates will advance. He is likely to hold his seat unless there’s a defiant break away from Acevero in mail-in ballots.
  • In District 18, DSA endorsed Max Socol collected over 37% of votes in his two-way primary – a strong showing for a first-time candidate. An upset is possible if mail-in ballots swing strongly in-favor of Socol.
  • In the MoCo County Executive race, David Blair is barely leading Marc Elrich (39.6% to 38.0%). No mail-in ballots have been counted yet. Marc Elrich was previously endorsed by Metro DC DSA in 2018. (Context: Bethesda Magazine article reviewing Elrichs relationship with progressives and socialists in the District).
  • Non-profit executive Wes Moore is leading the Governor’s primary with over 36% of the vote, his lead buffered by a strong showing in Baltimore and PG County. Former US Labor Secretary Tom Perez stands at about 27% of the vote, having amassed a commanding lead in Montgomery and Fredrick Counties.
  • Maryland State Rep Dan Cox was declared winner in the Republican primary, beating the Hogan backed Kelly Schulz even before mail-in votes have been processed. Dan Cox helped organize insurrectionists in the lead up to Trump’s 2021 Coup attempt, has boosted the Q Anon cult, and wants to make it harder to receive an abortion in Maryland. The Democratic Governor’s Association spent $1 million to promote Cox during the primary.

Keep an eye on DSA socials for official statements on DSA endorsed races. Over 60 DSA members knocked on over 24,000 doors in Montgomery County in support of Gabe Acevero and Max Socol.


DSA Cuba Campaign pushed vote to extend credit lines to Cuba onto floor of Congress

Last week, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI) presented an appropriations amendment that would allow Cuba to purchase US agricultural products on credit. The MDC DSA’s Cuba Campaign (a joint project of the Internationalism WG and the M4A WG) rallied behind the effort immediately. The amendment ultimately failed a floor vote — 163 to 260 — the campaign demonstrated both the changing perspectives on Cuba and the capacity of DSA to rapidly influence and motivate legislation at the national level.

The effort was expected to be an uphill battle. The campaign pressured Rep. McGovern to let the amendment out of the Rules Committee and onto the House floor for a vote. Following that, Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY) and Rep. Jim McGovern (MA) provided a last-minute endorsement of Tlaib’s amendment — a blow to party leadership given their influential standing within the party. In 24 hours, DSA’s Cuba Campaign was able to arrange over 540 email letters to a broad cross-section of House Reps — estimated at  170 reps — to vote in favor of the amendment. 

This is an enormous step up from years past, when Congress typically ignored or antagonized Cuba. Not only was this the first House vote on Cuba in six years, which bucked Dem leadership, but it also significantly improved on the anti-blockade movement’s previous efforts which collected 114 members of Congress to sign a letter to Biden demanding a loosening of the sanctions against Cuba last December. Though the policy goal failed, the effort should be seen as a strong example of what DSA can do when we coordinate National DSA membership with allies in Congress. DSA’s internationalism committee is continuing to make progress in bringing the Cold War levied against the Cuban people to an end.

ABCs of ANCs: Learn about running for hyperlocal government in DC — Weds, July 27 at 8pm

DC’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions are hyper-local elected bodies that connect residents to government services and represent their concerns to the District government. The system was created in 1974 and is a central — if often overlooked — component of DC’s “Home Rule” arrangement, which enshrines self-rule for the over 600,000 people of DC. 

Curious to learn more about DC’s ANC system? Elected Commissioner and Metro DC DSA Steering Committee member Dieter M will be hosting a chapter info session next Wednesday, July 27, at 8pm going over the DSA system. The hour-long session will go over what ANCs are and provide guidance for members on how to run for the position. Current or past elected Commissioners are invited to attend. You can sign up for the event here.


Restaurant industry lawsuit against I82 fails; join “Dough Raiser” for I82 on July 28

A DC Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit that aimed to stop Initiative 82 — which would raise the minimum wage for tipped workers (plus tips on top!) — from getting on the ballot this November. If you want all the details on the suit, read the restaurant industry’s amended complaint, the DCBOE’s response and the judge’s dismissal

To celebrate, attend Better Restaurants DC’s Dough Raiser for Initiative 82! The committee is hoping to raise at least $5,000 in order to purchase more campaign materials — from new street signs to flyers — ahead of what’s sure to be a bitter fight with DC’s restaurant industry before the November general election. The restaurant industry is spending thousands of dollars trying to prevent tipped workers from getting a raise; attend the Dough Raiser to help push Initiative 82 over the finish line and give tipped workers a wage they deserve.

Prince George’s County Branch meets Sunday

Join the branch this Sunday afternoon, July 24 at 1pm for a discussion on the primary election results and how they may offer opportunities for building socialism at the county governance level. The Council’s newly passed Climate Action Plan is among those opportunities. Click HERE to register and receive the Zoom information on the confirmation page. Questions? Email steering@pgcdsa.org.


Socialist Feminist Section updates

The Socialist Feminist Section has a new co-steward, comrades. Our comrade Emily Near stepped up to fill the void left by Kristen B, who resigned to better manage her duties as NoVA branch secretary, and managing the section alone actually stretched Marie slightly beyond faer capacity, but they managed. She’s very happy that Emily has been elected by acclamation for the remainder of the term (elections are in October). Also, we will be having our quarterly business meeting via Zoom on July 26th; register here

As soon as Bikini Kill has been rescheduled we’ll let everyone know about the postponed Happy Hour and concert!


Labor Working Group event: DMV-area Labor Notes Conference debrief & meet-up

4,000 union members and activists, including several MDC DSA members, met at the Labor Notes Conference in Chicago to “put the movement back in the labor movement.” The Labor Working Group will host a meet-up to discuss what we learned, how it can be applied to our work in the DMV and opportunities to get involved. Join us at Denizens Brewing (1115 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910) on Saturday, July 30 at 12pm for food, drinks and union power!

And speaking of Starbucks…Union activist and online publisher Tim Sheard* met with Starbucks organizers at Labor Notes and plans to send “Power Tools for Labor” — two books and five pamphlets that unionists have used for many years — to unionizing Starbucks locations across the country. The cost to print and ship is $11 for two books and five pamphlets, so if you want to chip in, donate $11 at the Hard Ball Press home page. *Also, ahem, a member of the National Writers Union

ICE Out of Arlington — latest updates from Defund+Migrant Justice

It’s been an eventful week in the ICE Out of Arlington campaign. NOVA turned out at the county board meeting last Saturday, but the board cut off comments and suspended the meeting altogether when people in the community spoke out about the many reasons the proposed “Trust Policy” falls short of the comprehensive CAPA policy in protecting us from abuse by ICE. On Monday and Tuesday the community continued to pressure the board, and after the Tuesday vote we have some — but not all — of the protections we need (see La ColectiVA’s summary here).

This is not the end of the campaign — we especially need the removal of Section 7, which carves out exceptions for the police — so keep following the Defund NoVA PD and NOVA Migrant Justice working groups for more.

End Police-ICE Terror — action in DC on 7/24 to 7/25

On Monday, July 25, activists will gather in DC to demand that Biden keeps his promises to end policies that terrorize immigrants, like the 287(g) program that enables police-ICE collaboration nationwide. Please RSVP for a specific time and location.

There will also be an art-build (10am to 12pm) and training (2pm to 5pm) on Sunday, July 24th. Sign up for specific times/locations here, and learn more here. You can also volunteer to host out-of-town protesters here.

NoVA Branch DSA Updates

NoVA DSA Electoral Strategy Meeting 7/31: Let’s elect socialists in Northern Virginia. RSVP for our 7pm meeting

NoVA DSA Proposed Bylaw Amendment: Create five-person Steering Committee — NOVA DSA will be voting to restructure the three-person NoVA branch executive committee into a five-person Steering Committee (read full proposal here). Basically, we want our three-person NoVA Exec Committee to become a five-person Steering Committee. This aligns with other Metro DC DSA branches. This proposal is endorsed by the current and previous NoVA Exec Committee.


Publications schedule: One more July Update, next Friday, July 29. The July/August issue of the Washington Socialist newsletter will add new articles to those Updates during summer as they are submitted and edited. The next full newsletter issue is our Labor Day special, scheduled for September 2 as the Labor Day weekend begins. Send articles anytime; hit us up at thesocialist@mdcdsa.org or join the permanent gaggle and get early reactions to your work in our Slack channel, #publications — non-judgmental collaboration is what we do. 

Need to get fired up about writing for the Labor Day issue? Here are some fine past examples from the Washington Socialist Archives: on labor history, labor’s essential relation to the climate change fight, labor, DSA and the Bernie campaign (both of them), focusing on our own workplaces and still more. So make it about today and tomorrow.

Heaps of MDC DSA history: 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. And dip into our Washington Socialist Topic Hub to explore specific socialist issues as we have grappled with them over the years in the pages of the newsletter.


Sunday, July 24

1 – 2:30pm | PG County Branch General Body Meeting

5 – 7pm | Internationalism Working Group monthly meeting

Tuesday, July 26

7pm | SocFem Quarterly Business Meeting

7:30 – 9pm | Caliban and the Witch reading group week 5

Wednesday, July 27

7 – 9pm | Post-Scarcity Anarchism reading club week 6
8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA / New Member Orientation

Thursday, July 28

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

Saturday, July 30th

noon – 4pm | DMV-Area Labor Notes Conference Debrief & Meet-Up


Monday, August 1

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

Tuesday, August 2

7:30 – 9:30pm |  Caliban and the Witch reading group week 6

Wednesday, August 3 

6 – 7pm | NoVA Tenant Organizing Committee monthly meeting

7 – 8pm | Post Scarcity Anarchism reading club week 7 

Thursday, August 4

6:30 – 7:30pm | Cuba Campaign Committee planning meeting

Thursday, August 11

6:30 – 8pm | NoVA Branch MDC DSA Monthly Organizing Meeting (hybrid meeting)

Sunday, August 21 

7 – 9pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting


Share a Seed Little Free Library Launch | Powell Community Farm

Gather up those half-full summer seed packets and join Share a Seed at the new community farm in Ward 1 this Saturday for the launch of their first little free seed library! This library/accessible seating installation will help community members share their spares and get growing while also creating an inviting place of rest. Please bring any spare seeds (new or open, just be sure they’ve been resealed and labeled) you’d like to donate to the Powell Farm library on July 23 between 11am and 2pm. Visitors are also invited to help with some farm tasks (weeding, watering) and check out the pop-up plant clinic offered by Very Sad Lab.

Baldwin House Community Celebration | Ward 1 Mutual Aid

After much hard work from community advocates, Baldwin House — an effort to purchase a building and turn it into an affordable housing cooperative owned by Black and Brown tenants in Ward 1 — is becoming a reality! Celebrate with Ward 1 neighbors on Sunday, July 24 from 1 to 5pm. There will be food, live music, art, games for kids and adults and opportunities to contribute your visions for the project.

Lotus and Water Lily Festival | Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

We’re half-way through Kenilworth’s annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival, but there’s still plenty of Harmony, Health and Healing-centered programming left! This weekend focuses on nature and the environment and will include animal shows, ranger talks, Mariachi and a book talk. Next weekend’s theme is music and community and offers ranger talks, increased community organization tabling, a fashion show, cultural dance presentations and yoga classes. All events are free to the public.

Closed Until July 30 | Feed the People Mutual Aid

FTP’s cooking/storage space is closed next week for a funeral. They will be taking a brief break and return on July 30!


Bernie in The Guardian: Our favorite senator argues in The Guardian for the rebuilding of American manufacturing via the microchip industry — and against corporate giveaways. “Should American taxpayers provide the microchip industry with a blank check of over $50bn at a time when semiconductor companies are making tens of billions of dollars in profits and paying their executives exorbitant compensation packages?” Senator Sanders asks. “I think the answer to that question should be a resounding NO.” 

Is this a leading indicator that the center-right sees class struggle as an opportunity in the scrum? Scholar Ruy Teixeira is leaving the left-leaning Center for American Progress, saying liberal foundations are too focused on identity. Moving to the center-right American Enterprise Institute, he tells Politico: “My perspective is, the single most important thing to focus on in the social system is the economic system — it’s class.”

Mr. Sparrow used to be at the top of the pyramid, but then he was “neutralized.” Check out this After The Storm story by David P. Rogers that examines wealth in US society, and how to reach for a better way. 

Check out the first chapter of comrade Alex Mell-Taylor’s post-climate-change murder mystery. If you love whodunits, sci-fi and good characters, you will love this adventure

“Public pressure works” — USPS quadruples its planned purchase of e-vehicles for mail delivery. From Common Dreams via Portside.

So, COVID. How much do we think we are done with toplining it, how much do we think it’s still a real menace — and how many COVID deaths a year are going to become “normal?” In a NYT longread, David Wallace-Wells notes, “The experience of the pandemic’s third year has been much muddier, narratively, almost everywhere in the world. … the epidemiological picture is complicated enough and the pandemic politics enough in retreat that it feels possible to just tell the story of the disease itself — treating Covid-19 less as a litmus test of one kind or another than a continuing tragedy.” Omicron, he notes,“though often described as ‘mild,’ killed more than 100,000 Americans in the first six weeks of [this] year.”

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