August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022



  • Solidarity is brewing in DC! — P St Starbucks to unionize

  • Post-election meetup at Midlands — Thursday, August 25

  • Inflation Reduction Act passes in the Senate

Solidarity is brewing in DC! — P St Starbucks to unionize

We are thrilled to share the news that the Starbucks location at 1429 P Street NW has gone public with their intention to unionize. MDC DSA will be supporting these workers every step of the way as they win their union and take the Starbucks unionization campaign across DC and the region. As a first step, stop by the P Street Starbucks (located right off of Logan Circle) this weekend, order a drink, and give your name as Union Yes or share some words of encouragement with your barista. Don’t forget to mention DSA and tell the workers that we’ve got their backs! To get involved with our upcoming solidarity work with this store, email or check out #Labor in Slack.

Post-election meetup at Midlands — Thursday, August 25

Join MDC DSA at Midlands on Thursday, August 25th from 6 to 9pm for a Happy Hour celebration of our multiple electoral wins across the region! This cycle, our chapter members defended Gabriel Acevero in Montgomery County’s District 39, helped Max Socol put up a competitive challenge against a conservative incumbent in District 18, and won an open seat for Zachary Parker in DC–knocking over 60,000 doors and raising over $14,000 in the process! We want to party, hang out, distribute the remainder of our limited-edition 2022 primary t-shirts to the canvassers who won our raffle, and most importantly, thank all of our volunteers and organizers who joined us this cycle. The Midlands Beer Garden is about a 10 minute walk from the Georgia-Ave Petworth Metro stop on the green line.

Inflation Reduction Act passes in the Senate

The US Senate passed its reconciliation bill — the Inflation Reduction Act — by a vote of 51-50. The bill, while flawed, takes some meaningful steps towards addressing CO2 emissions. The bill includes a near $300 billion investment into clean energy, including $7 billion in solar roof expansions. However, the bill also includes a large giveaway to the fossil fuel industry — up to 60 million acres of public waters and 2 million acres of public lands must be offered up for sale each year to the oil and gas industry before the government is allowed to approve new wind or solar projects. It also approves the $6.6 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline, which spans 303 miles from West Virginia to Virginia. The pipeline is estimated to generate the equivalent of 37 coal plants every year.

The bill also grants the government some additional power to control the cost of certain drug prices. Medicare will be allowed to negotiate high prices of some prescription drugs, but these negotiations won’t go into effect until 2026. It will also cap out-of-pocket costs seniors pay for prescription drugs at no more than $2,000 a year (unfortunately, this also won’t go into effect until 2025). The bill also includes a 15% minimum tax imposed on corporations, helping shore up an estimated $160 billion in taxes from corporations each year.

Resources for further reading:

  • Text of the bill can be found here, and preliminary dollar estimates here.
  • The Insulin price cap amendment was successfully blocked by the GOP. Unclear if more could have been done by Dems to salvage this, but Schumer has suggested they may try to push it through again.
  • The American Prospect, covered the outcome of tax policy debates leading up to the bill, as well as ways the Inflation Reduction Act addresses diesel pollution.
  • On MSNBC – Bernie on the shortcomings (and promise) of the Act.
  • Jacobin’s writeup on the Bill – and how left-criticisms of the legislation are hardly insubstantial.

The US House is expected to convene today (Friday) for a vote to send it to the prez.


PEC seeks members with political staffer experience to participate in panel

The PEC is planning an informational panel in early fall as part of our GR 4 requirements to develop a training for those interested in working as campaign and legislative staff.  

If you’ve worked as a staff person for a political campaign or legislative office (local, city, state or federal), please fill out our interest form by Monday, August 22 at 5pm if you would like to participate and share your knowledge with members interested in pursuing careers in politics. A PEC member will be in touch with more details upon submission of the form.

Nominations open for Montgomery County Branch Steering

A current branch steering committee member is moving, leaving a vacancy on the Branch Steering Committee. This is a great opportunity to get more involved in the branch and organizing in Montgomery County. All current Branch members, defined as a DSA member in good standing who lives or works in Montgomery County and is not a member of another Branch, are eligible to serve and no special skills are needed to qualify. Self-nominations are welcome.  Nominations are being accepted through August 18. Email with any questions.

Steering Committee members divide up responsibilities so no member is overburdened. Potential responsibilities (to be discussed with current branch steering members) include: Attending Branch Steering Committee Meetings (two to three a month); Helping plan monthly Branch meetings; Working with the Metro DC DSA Treasurer to monitor Branch finances, requests for funding etc; Representing the Branch at Chapter Steering Committee meetings; Writing weekly MoCo branch newsletters.

Send nominations here.


NoVA DSA Branch Votes to establish a five-person Steering Committee, seeks three Steering members

On Thursday’s monthly all-Branch meeting, the present membership voted to expand the three-person Executive Committee to a five-person Steering Committee. This aligns with the other Chapter Branches and will expand our leadership capacity to better support our workgroups. We now seek to fill the three vacant seats due to include a recently vacant seat. 

Please join our August 25, one-hour Candidate Forum at which you will hear from our candidates to lead our Branch. You can still nominate someone, including yourself! We especially encourage members of marginalized identities to run, especially BIPOCs. The candidate must be a DSA member and reside in Northern Virginia.


Sign Up Open: Housing and Displacement Walking Tour on Saturday, August 27th!

Sign up now for the Housing and Displacement: DC Walking Tour, starting at 1pm on Saturday, August 27th! The tour will explore three sites in Brightwood Park in NW DC connected to how displacement related to racism and profit have worked in DC real estate — in the past and present. The tour will be led by Tanya Golash-Boza, a District native who grew up in the neighborhood and whose research on the area breaks new ground on how the neighborhood was segregated and re-segregated; and Mara Cherkasky, co-founder of both the historical research firm Prologue DC and the digital public history project Mapping Segregation in Washington DC. The tour will also uncover how housing displacement is related to policing tactics and mass incarceration. The walking tour will connect historical struggles to current organizing efforts against District landlords led by Metro DC DSA’s Stomp Out Slumlords Working Group. 

The tour will meet outside at 15 Kennedy Street NW (street area in front of Roots Public Charter School; walking distance to the Fort Totten Metro, 64 bus, E4 and K6 buses) at 1pm and will adjourn at 3pm. The tour will be followed by a happy hour afterward at a nearby bar. We will provide snacks and water on the tour and do our best to make sure the route is shaded and the pace is light. We encourage you to invite friends, comrades and anyone who may be interested! Make sure to sign up here to attend — and indicate your ability to volunteer.

And more on housing: an MDC DSA high-focus campaign

Despite Wednesday’s report showing a possible upper edge of inflation in the US, Punchbowl News suggests “The high cost of housing — and especially rent increases — may soon replace high gas prices as the biggest problem facing millions of Americans. Tenant and community groups are calling it a ‘national emergency’ and urging the White House to intervene.” The WaPo story linked here includes DMV rent strike stirrings and a link to the Homes Guarantee campaign to which many left organizations have signed on.

Counter presence to protect Drag Queen Story Hour

Join Montgomery County comrades on Saturday, August 13 from 10:30am to 12pm at Brookside Gardens to protect the next Drag Queen Story Hour. The last protective action went wonderfully, and since it will be held in a larger outdoor space this time, we need even more people to come out! Let’s help keep MoCo safe & free of fascist hate. Details: Help create a visual barrier of love to shield the children and families from hateful protesters. Meet in the lawn by the Children’s Garden at Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallen Ave, Wheaton, MD. Arrive at 10:30am for a brief training. Event starts at 11am. Bring large solid colored sheets, pride flags, and umbrellas, as well as snacks and water for energy and sustenance. Street and public parking available within a couple of blocks of the event. Email with any questions.

Writing Anticapitalist Futures — DSA writing workshops

Metro DC DSA + After The Storm presents Writing Anticapitalist Futures, a 12-week writing practice for anyone who wants to imagine different futures and co-create them in the present. Over 12 weeks, we’ll commit to writing one piece in community with each other — short and long pieces, poetry, nonfiction and fiction welcome. By the end, the goal is for each of us to have a piece we can share at a hybrid open mic event in the Metro DC area and/or submit for publication with After The Storm, the Washington Socialist or elsewhere. Participants will be capped at around 30 people to ensure everyone has a chance to share and engage during workshops. Fill out this survey by Sunday, September 4 to participate!

DSA candidates get 10/11 primary wins in WI, VT and MN

Out of 11 endorsements in four states, nine DSA candidates won their elections outright, and another took first place in a nonpartisan runoff. DSA’s primary win/loss record sits at 44-44, with 12 runoffs and 30 races yet to be determined. To get an idea of the baseline: in 2020, 44% of DSA races were successful, and in 2021, 43% were successful. Find a detailed rundown at the Socialism on the Ballot substack.

ATU Local 689 reaches tentative agreement with MetroAccess contractor

Following a nine-day strike encompassing 200 of the local’s members, ATU Local 689 reached a tentative contract agreement with WMATA contractor Transdev. Read the release from the ATU Transit Union on Twitter. The strike was protesting low wages and bad faith bargaining from the contractor. The strikers included paratransit drivers, utility, dispatchers, maintenance workers and road supervisors at the Hubbard Road MetroAccess garage in Landover, Maryland.

Free abortion access sticker templates available from Plan C

The Socialist Feminist Section encourages members, especially those with contacts in the christofascist states, to spread the word about, a website that has information on where to find (and/or) receive via mail abortion medication. They also have stickers with the website/or a QR code, and small handouts (like 3×3 cards) to pass out/post wherever that you can order multiples of with no charge. Spread the news about these to your contacts in the forced birth states.


Publications Schedule: Closing in on our Labor Day issue, always a highlight, Friday, September 2 with an article deadline of Friday, August 26, concurrent with our final August Update (we’ll also send one next Friday, August 19). Send your take on work and its absence, the identity of today’s working class, and opportunities to build socialism offered by the turbulent economy. Hit us up at Talk about your ideas and get support at the #publications Slack channel. Inspiration needed? Check out the deep archive on the Washington Socialist website from latest to legacy. We at MDC DSA pubs have been adding to our local chapter’s institutional knowledge for decades; don’t overlook it. 

Our Summer 2022 number of the Washington Socialist is rich with analysis of the recent DC and MD primary results, persistent white-supremacist thinking on the Right and the LA conference of housing tenants ready to organize and rise. Don’t let them slip away.

Available as a member resource on the local chapter website are up-to-date minutes on the Steering Committee’s 2022 meetings as well as on General Body Meetings 2022.



Defund the Police Deep Canvass | SURJ-DC

The SURJ-DC Deep Canvass and Trans & Queer teams are hosting their next deep canvass day on Sunday, August 14. Through these events, SURJ-DC is working to build a community that learns together about community safety and alternatives to policing. The canvass will run from 10am to 2:30pm and take place in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. Morning training will be indoors (with AC; masks required), lunch will be provided, then canvassers will get out on the doors together with a script focused on shifting resources from policing to community needs. Find more information and sign up here!

Oyster Mushroom Conservation and Cuisine | Slow Food DC

Next Sunday, August 14, Slow Food DC will lead an Oyster Mushroom workshop at Temperance Alley in NW DC. The event will start off with a basic intro to mushroom cultivation workshop, after which participants will be given the chance to make their own take-home oyster mushroom grow kits (while supplies last!). Chef Iulian Fortu of Arcadia Ventures will prepare a dish featuring oyster mushrooms for attendees to try, and answer all your questions about mushroom cooking. This event is free, donations are suggested. Get tickets here.

Reel & Meal Series | New Deal Café

On Monday, August 15, the Reel & Meal film series observes the August 6, 1945 anniversary of the first nuclear attack on Japan with The Vow from Hiroshima, both in-person at the New Deal Café in Greenbelt, MD, and online via Zoom (registration required). The documentary film explores the growing, global dangers of nuclear weapons along with the story of an 85-year-old Hiroshima survivor’s campaign with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons that won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. The program is free and starts at 7pm. A hybrid facilitated discussion follows.

Fight Eviction in DC — Apply to Be a Summer Organizing Fellow | DC Jobs with Justice

DC Jobs with Justice is bringing together a team of people with a passion for justice to be part of an organizing fellowship where you’ll learn vital organizing skills, connect with other organizers, talk to DC tenants, and help build power for housing justice campaigns. The housing organizing fellowship will run from August 22 to September 30, participants will receive $23 per hour and work 20 hours per week. Link to apply here; applications due Friday, August 10 (today!).

Updated Guide to “Homeless Encampment Engagements” | Remora House

Local advocacy and outreach organization Remora House has posted an updated version of their guide to “Homeless Encampment Engagements.” This brief guide will help explain what happens during these “engagements” to our unhoused neighbors, and how you can help fight against relocation and displacement.


Non-SWATified, civvie-clad FBI document hounds were met Monday at the ornate entrance to Mar-a-Lago by Trump’s resident Secret Service contingent, who welcomed them in. Not much to see here, folks, meaning it was all left to the fertile imagination of the MAGA-mad right. Common Dreams has a great roundup of the ensuing “lock and load, here-comes-the-war” discourse from that quarter. It ranges from scary to self-parody. Via Portside.

And for those of us who have worked hard to suppress lingering particles of admiration for Liz Cheney, here’s a highly enjoyable column from Politico’s John Harris: “Why Wait? Here’s Liz Cheney’s Concession Speech in Advance,” with her (imagined) thought-bubbles as she delivers it.

Felix Salmon reports in Axios that a recent study finds “The six justices with the most pro-business voting records of all time are all sitting on the court right now. These six (Barrett, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Alito, Roberts, and Thomas) were each nominated by Republican presidents.” He adds more generally that “The past 70 years have seen the government broadly — not only the judiciary but also both the Democratic and Republican parties — embrace an increasingly business-friendly agenda.” 

Only about 10% of US households get their water service from private water companies. “But in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the states where pro-privatization legislation has been most aggressively pursued, about a third of the population get their water from private companies. Not coincidentally, the country’s biggest water companies, Aqua America (part of Essential Utilities) and American Water, are headquartered in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, respectively. Organizers say Aqua lobbyists spend so much time at the state capitol that they have become part of the furniture,” Hadas Thier writes in The Nation. That’s right up the road and too close for comfort.

If you are still using Facebook, the folks at Pew say, you are probably getting old faster than you imagine.

And more from the same Pew (different survey, actually): the state-n-local gov newsletter Route Fifty summarizes a Pew report on attitudes toward US party politics, in “Nearly 40 percent of Americans are tired of the two-party system.”

Concurrently, two Jacobin writers, noting that left electoral successes remain limited to very blue districts, argue that “Today, the absence of mass working-class organization continues to haunt the US left. With the … Democrats asleep at the wheel, the time is ripe to build a mass organization that can make desperately needed political interventions. And we think that Sanders and the Squad need to take the lead in building such an organization.” Via Portside.

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