Sept 16, 2022

September 16, 2022



  • MDC DSA’s September General Body Meeting to include electoral endorsement consideration — Sunday, September 18 at 7pm

  • Join the Washington, DC: Capital of Neoliberalism Walking Tour — TOMORROW, September 17 at 1pm, Farragut Square NW

  • Battle lines drawn on fight to end the subminimum wage — DSA’s Labor working group begins public campaign for Initiative 82

MDC DSA’s September General Body Meeting to include electoral endorsement consideration — Sunday, September 18 at 7pm

At our GBM this weekend, we will be debating endorsements for David Schwartzmann, running for one of the DC Council’s At-Large seats, and Ben Williams, running for DC State Board of Education in Ward 1. You can read their questionnaires and endorsement resolutions and watch their Q&As here. For any general questions, please feel free to reach out in #2022-pec or Slack DM to @carl R directly.

Please note that we will not be voting on endorsement at the GBM — just introducing resolutions. Ballot to vote on endorsement resolutions will be sent next week, and all members will have the opportunity to write up statements in support of or against these endorsement resolutions, which will appear with the ballots. If you’d like to submit a statement in support or against a resolution, please use our Red Desk task management system. For any general questions, please feel free to reach out in #2022-pec or Slack DM to @carl R directly.

Join the Washington, DC: Capital of Neoliberalism Walking Tour — TOMORROW, September 17 at 1pm, Farragut Square NW

Sign up now and come out for tomorrow’s Washington, DC: Capital of Neoliberalism Walking Tour at 1pm this Saturday, September 17th! 

The tour will start in Farragut Square NW and will visit four sites in downtown DC connected to how neoliberal tactics were exported from international institutions located in the District — and how they came to local governance. The tour will feature an expert on the history of both international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and hear from Chapter members on how the 1990s Financial Control Board for DC government implemented neoliberal policies. 

The tour will be led by Christy Thornton, a professor at Johns Hopkins whose writing and work includes a focus on how international institutions have interfaced with Latin America — and how resistance to those institutions through large scale protests and social movements has shaped their policies and meetings. The tour will connect attendees to current organizing to democratize the District led by Metro DC DSA. Join us afterward for a happy hour at outdoor tables at the Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. We will provide snacks and water on the tour, which will be under two miles. Sign up here and step up to volunteer if you can!

Battle lines drawn on fight to end the subminimum wage — DSA’s Labor working group begins public campaign for Initiative 82

The fight to end the subminimum wage in DC continues: This November, DC will vote on Initiative 82 — which would gradually phase out the subminimum wage paid to tipped workers over five years. Importantly, this would not end tipping — it would put tips on top of the base wage paid to workers. Besides increasing the salary paid to many of these workers, it would help protect tipped workers from wage theft, financial instability and exposure to harassment and discrimination.

Corporate interests opposed to the initiative have begun mobilizing against the campaign. According to latest campaign finance records, the No on 82 campaign has raised over $400,000 from corporations and business lobbyists. The last time these groups came together, they waged a duplicitous campaign designed to intimidate workers and scare the public. They are likely to resort to similar tactics this time. 

Metro DC DSA has proudly endorsed I82 and has been helping build grassroots support for the initiative through the Labor working group. Earlier this year, 50 DSA volunteers collected over 1,500 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. Now, the working group is gearing up a public outreach and canvassing operation to box out corporate-backed spin doctors. (I82 also enjoys a wide array of endorsements from grassroots groups, labor organizations, and community leaders in the city.)

Want to join the fight? Here’s how you can help:

  • Spread the word: Keep an eye on DSA’s social media handles (Instagram, Twitter), which will be used to post information and worker testimonials. Canvassing operations will begin soon — keep an eye on our socials and this Weekly Update to jump in when we are ready to get moving. (If you are a Metro DC DSA member and on our chapter slack, join the #labor, #dc-electoral or monitor the #announcements channel to get direct notice).
  • Supporting tipped workers: If you are a tipped worker interested in testifying in support of the initiative, please use this form to connect with DSA’s working group, or fill out Build a Better Restaurant Industry’s volunteer form directly. If you are a worker, we will support and work with you to make sure your voice is heard.
  • Fight misinformation: The groups behind the opposition campaign have a history of using cynical tricks — including adopting progressive-sounding language, developing fake research, and even co-opting logos from progressive groups to confuse voters and workers. Verify where you get your information and make sure others know too. Some think-tanks and organizations you can trust: ROC-DC, One Fair Wage and the Economic Policy Institute, the Center for American Progress have published great research on the benefits of ending the tipped minimum wage. You can learn more about the initiative directly through the Build a Better Restaurant Industry website.


Stomp Out Slumlords DMV-wide organizing committee meeting — Tuesday, September 20 at 6pm at MLK Library

Organizers from Stomp Out Slumlords have been organizing across DC, Virginia, and Maryland to fight slum conditions, resist evictions and fight for community control over housing. On Tuesday, we will be gathering to share updates about the tenant movement in our region and to discuss plans to take action to demand that the DC government do more about the slum conditions thousands of renters endorse. Our monthly meetings are the perfect place to learn about our work and plug in. Join us at MLK Library (901 G St NW) in Room 401 at 6pm, Tuesday, September 20.

Stomp Out Slumlords Cookout: September 25th, 4pm at Petworth Recreation Center

Come join tenants and organizers with Stomp Out Slumlords to end the summer and kick off the fall with a cookout in the park. We’ve had many fights over the summer and want to celebrate the victories and actions from the past few months. This is also a great opportunity for returning organizers to reconnect with folks they haven’t seen in awhile and for interested folks to get to know who we are and what we do!

We’ll be meeting under the canopy at the Petworth Recreation Center. We will have a couple grills going with some drinks but welcome folks to bring and share their own dishes! Sign up here!

Prince William County Collective Bargaining Ordinance Meeting

Prince William County general employees are coming together to unionize with SEIU VA 512 following the recent repeal of a 40-plus year ban on public sector collective bargaining in Virginia. Unfortunately, the repeal of the ban did not outright grant public sector employees collective bargaining rights. Instead, it gave counties and localities the ability to pass ordinances granting their employees said rights. As the Prince William County Board of Supervisors deliberated this past Tuesday, September 13, over a drafted ordinance, DSA members from Northern Virginia and DC showed up in force to support the workers. Workers and chapter members spoke up and challenged the board to pass an ordinance that includes all employees and allows them to bargain over working conditions in a meaningful way. While Tuesday was a good first step, more pressure from the workers and community will be needed in order to ensure meaningful bargaining rights. Stay tuned for updates on the next board meeting on the ordinance and steps you can take to support the workers.


For Us Not Amazon​ Solidarity Petition + Action

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 17 at 8am, please attend the Arlington County Board Meeting (2100 Clarendon Blvd, Ste 307, Arlington, VA 22201 — near Court House Metro) to support demands of residents at Barcroft, an affordable apartment building. Last year, Jair Lynch Real Estate bought the apartments with a $160 million loan from Amazon, which allows 3% annual rent increases.

If you plan to attend, please email as we’re happy to connect you with any other branch members also attending.

Learn more and sign the petition!. And please share this tweet.


DSA Kickball and Fundraiser!

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 17th from 3:30 to 6pm at Virginia Highlands Park, 1600 S Hayes St, Arlington, VA 22202, come get active with us! Reserve your spot for free!

A $20 minimum donation will be collected at the event via Venmo, Cash App or cash. All proceeds will go toward campaigns to reform the United States’ fucked up foreign policy against countries all over the world.


There is room in our MDC DSA Publications WG work for all kinds of personal schedules as well as the material pleasure of learning, thinking about and doing socialism as you pitch in on the Weekly Update or line-edit articles for the monthly Washington Socialist. Join our September Publications WG meeting, focused this month on the Washington Socialist, on Saturday, September 24 at 3pm. Join us then, and get in on the fun at our #publications Slack channel in the meantime. 

Our Publications Schedule — One more September Update is scheduled for Friday the 23rd, and the October issue of the Washington Socialist is scheduled to go out paired with the Weekly Update of Friday, September 30. Article deadline for the October Washington Socialist issue is September 24th.

Info: 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. The road map of MDC DSA’s activities — campaigns, working groups, etc., including our three branches — is here.

Red Desk is where all members can go to request support, calendar links for events, etc. for their campaigns and working group needs. How does one access and use Red Desk? Here are some visual how-tos.


Saturday, September 17

1 – 3pm | Washington DC: Capital of Neoliberalism Walking Tour (in person)

Sunday, September 18

2 – 3:30pm | MoCo September Branch Meeting (hybrid)

7 – 9pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting for September

Wednesday, September 21

7 – 8:30pm | Cuba Campaign Committee Planning Meeting

7 – 8:30pm | Eugene V. Debs Reading Group

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

Friday, September 23

5 – 8pm | Socialist Feminist Happy Hour (in person) 

Saturday, September 24

3 – 4:30pm | Pubs WG September Meeting — Washington Socialist

Sunday, September 25

1 – 3pm | Prince George’s Branch DSA Monthly Meeting

5 – 6:30pm | Internationalism Working Group Monthly Meeting

7 – 8pm | NoVA DSA Electoral Meeting

Wednesday, September 28

7 – 8:30pm | Cuba Campaign Committee Planning Meeting

7 – 8:30pm | Eugene V. Debs Reading Group 8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA /New Member Orientation

Friday, October 1

6 – 8:30pm | NoVA DSA Gamenite! (in person)


Starting from Scraps | Slow Food DC

Did you know that 30-40% of food in the US is wasted? Join Slow Food DC, Mount Pleasant Community Compost and Compost Cab on Sunday, September 18 at 4pm at Columbia Heights Green (3321 11th St NW, in the alley) to learn about how restaurants, culinary educators and community gardens are tackling this problem. Attendees will be free to tour the garden and also take home compost to use in your own growing spaces! This event is free, donations are suggested. RSVP here.

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, September 18. 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 outdoors, 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!

Fall Kids Art Party | Common Good City Farm

Join Common Good City Farm this Sunday, September 18 for their Fall Kids Art Party from 2:30 to 4:30pm! The LEAF team will be hosting fun art activities (paint-friendly clothing recommended!) in the park in front of the farm. Free snacks and recipe kits will be available to attendees. Common Good’s regular LEAF class will follow the art party from 4:30 to 5:45pm.

And we will still have regular LEAF class following the art party from 4:30 to 5:45pm!

Planning Your Fall Garden + Cover Crop Training | Share a Seed

Learn how cover cropping — a foundational sustainable growing practice — can help you build soil health at this event on Saturday, October 1 (10:30am to 12:30pm) at Upshur Community Garden! By adding cover crops to your garden, you can add nutrients back into your soil without using chemicals. This event is hosted by Share a Seed and the cover crop workshop will be led by Upshur Garden member and international cover crop expert Andy Clark. Attendees will take part in a planting demonstration, receive free cover crop seed and be treated to garden tours (or just hang out and enjoy the space on your own!). Free, donation suggested. RSVP here.

City’s draft Racial Equity Analysis Tool hearing is upcoming

Thursday, September 22 at 4pm, the DC Zoning Commission will hold a virtual public round table on its draft racial equity analysis tool (Z.C. Case No. 22-RT1) and in advance, Empower DC will hold an online information session to give you more background and help you prepare to participate on Saturday, September 17 from  1 to 2:30pm. Register now for this virtual event!

Do you live in Alexandria? Join the Health Commission! Sign a Petition to get Care, Not Cops, to students! 

If you live in Alexandria, please consider applying to sit on the Public Health Advisory Commission (PHAC)! Our M4Alx Coalition has been advocating before the PHAC to gain their support for an M4A Resolution as part of a nationwide campaign. If you have any interest in applying, email to give us a heads up.

Fill out the School Law Enforcement Partnership survey and advocate for mental health resources, not cops, in schools in Alexandria. For folks interested in doing more, the survey also lets you opt in to participating in a focus group. Ends October 2nd.


Gabriel Winant’s n+1 obituary-slash-consideration of Barbara Ehrenreich and her work is a thorough reflection on a remarkable socialist thinker’s life, as well as a guide of sorts. 

In Consortium News, Patrick Lawrence chronicles The Historic Collapse Of Journalism. “Accuracy no longer matters. Witnessing no longer matters. Conformity matters.” In other words, journalists have become stenographers to power (not a new assessment). Tidily republished in Portside on 9/11. A deep (not to say, long) read from a former New Yorker correspondent. Whether you believe Tina Brown’s “buzz and flash” ruined the New Yorker or saved its tiny-mummy remains, this is a sobering read about the long fall of a profession increasingly battered by the financialization of capital.

Meanwhile, pushback emerges against the online white-supremacist commissars of (supposedly unconstrained) onscreen fiction, who want The Lord of the Rings-built world(s) to remain ever, um, caucasian. Want that T-shirt. From Jezebel via Portside …

And John Harris in his POLITICO column shows the wavy course of the misogyny/power dialectic as he argues to see a “through line” from Bill Clinton’s nemesis, the just-deceased Ken Starr, to Donald Trump: “The link between Starr and Trump, between the priggish moralist and the cynical rogue, is the way that one of the most common human emotions — contempt for adversaries — became the animating force of our political culture.”

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