Oct 21, 2022

October 21, 2022



  • SPECIAL MDC DSA General Body Meeting – this Sunday, 7 to 9pm

  • Canvassing efforts for Initiative 82 continue to target working-class neighborhoods to deepen support

  • Defund MPD working group joining phone-blast in support of decriminalizing drug use and reinvesting in addiction support

SPECIAL MDC DSA General Body Meeting – this Sunday, 7 to 9pm

Metro DC DSA will be holding its monthly all-chapter general body meeting this Sunday from 7 to 9pm, but this is not a usual meeting. Members of MDC DSA will be joined by members of other DSA groups from around Maryland to see a special presentation from National DSA detailing their efforts in the logistics sector, and how this campaign can be brought to the DMV. This presentation is important for seasoned activists as well as newcomers. We are very excited to welcome National staff to our GBM to provide vital education to a large group of committed activists in the nation’s capital. You won’t want to miss it, RSVP here!

Canvassing efforts for Initiative 82 continue to target working-class neighborhoods to deepen support

MDC DSA’s primary electoral focus this cycle has been passing Initiative 82 in DC. (Want to catch up? Read our Washington Socialist article.) Last week, socialists knocked on doors in DC’s Ward 7 to canvass DC’s working-class neighborhoods. Previous canvasses knocked doors in Columbia Heights, University Heights, and Michigan Park to reassemble the working-class coalition that turned out in support of Initiative 77 four years ago. This weekend, socialists will canvass DC’s Ward 4. If you would like to join DSA’s canvassing team, please fill out this form.

Passing Initiative 82 is a racial justice issue. The tip credit system has its origins as a legacy of slavery. Today, the current tipped system disproportionately hurts BIPOC workers – nonwhite workers are 37% of the workforce, but make up 48% of the tipped workforce in the country. In the seven states that already pay tipped workers the full minimum wage, BIPOC tipped workers take home more money than in DC and other states with a tipped subminimum wage. There’s also a much smaller racial pay disparity between Black workers and white workers. Nonwhite and working class precincts in DC overwhelmingly passed Initiative 77 in 2018 before the Council overturned it – passing I82 would correct this injustice.

More updates:

  • Metro DC DSA released another interview with a tipped worker last week – videos will continue to be released to broadcast worker support for the initiative.
  • Local support for Initiative 82 continues to grow: grassroots advocacy organization DC for Democracy knocked doors in Columbia Heights to support I82, and One Fair Wage action led a music truck through downtown DC to build excitement for the Initiative.
  • Local DSA member Ryan O’Leary went head-to-head with Republican restaurateur Chef Geoff on WTOP’s District Download podcast.

Defund MPD working group joining phone-blast in support of decriminalizing drug use and reinvesting in addiction support

MDC DSA’s Defund MPD working group is organizing a phone-blast in support of the Decriminalize Poverty campaign in DC, which is pushing to remove criminal penalties for using or possessing drugs and invest in harm reduction programs over punishment. The phone blast will be initiated on Tuesday, October 25th: You can sign up for notifications and call commitments by filling out this form, and members can learn more by joining our #defund-the-police channel on the chapter slack.

The Decriminalize Poverty campaign includes over 50 local partners committed to ending the “War on Drugs” – which has created stigmas and punishments around drug use that overly incarcerate marginalized peoples while ignoring the socioeconomic factors that lead to substance abuse. The campaign has draft legislation prepared and broad public support, but needs DC Councilmembers to commit to introducing the legislation and move it through committee.


Montgomery County DSA in-person Branch Meeting — Sunday, October 23rd, 3pm

Join the Montgomery County branch for our monthly branch meeting this Sunday at 3:00pm in person at Wheaton Forest Local Park. We’ll hear about our on-going campaign for rent stabilization, a presentation about Hindu nationalism in Maryland politics and other updates about our work in the county, as well as have time to socialize. Wheaton Forest Local Park is about a 15 minute walk from the Wheaton Metro and there is also parking available in front of the park. We have reserved a covered shelter so we are good to go rain-or-shine. Please RSVP if you plan to attend so we can have a headcount for food and refreshments.

UMD labor coalition planning to make collective demands at 2nd annual labor picnic

TODAY – October 21st, from 12 to 2pm at Hornbake Plaza – the University of Maryland, College Park labor community will be announcing shared demands for livable wages, stable jobs, and collective bargaining rights for all higher-ed employees in the state of Maryland. Workers will unite across employment classifications and conditions at one of the largest UMD labor demonstrations in years. Representatives from staff union AFSCME Local 1072, undergrads in United Students Against Sweatshops Local 52, graduate assistants with Fearless Student Employees, and the faculty chapter of American Association of University Professors will speak about why each group of employees is advocating for shared demands. You can RSVP here.


Save the date for the 2022 Local Convention: December 9 to 10

The MDC DSA Steering Committee has voted to set the dates for the 2022 Local Convention for Saturday, December 9 to Sunday, December 10, 2022. Local Convention is an opportunity for the full chapter to introduce and debate general resolutions, bylaw amendments, and considerations for political candidate endorsements for the 2023 primary election. The convention planning team is in the process of forming and will be headed by Steering member Aparna R. The Steering election for the 2023 term will occur concurrently with convention and will be managed by a separately constituted internal election administrative department in AdCom.

Make sure to save that weekend for now, and look out for additional resources about the upcoming convention. If interested in getting involved with the convention planning, please reach out to Aparna on Slack. 

Not a DSA member? Consider joining today! Our power comes through active involvement of the working-class – the DSA needs you to help define and chart socialism forward in our region!

Supporting Starbucks workers in Maryland and DC: Sip Ins in DC and Olney, MD

Starbucks Corporate is slow-walking bargaining with workers at the Starbucks in Olney, MD, who voted to form a union in May. Workers are asking union supporters to join a sip-in at the store starting at 2pm on Tuesday, October 25. Supporters are asked to occupy the space in the store. Remote workers are welcome to work out of the store to participate in the action. Post in #montgomery-county or email montgomerycountydsa@gmail.com if you’re available to join. The DC Starbucks workers union also called for a sip-in at the P Street store this Saturday from 10 to 3pm


Publications Schedule: one more October Update: Friday, October 28. Friday, November 4 we publish the November Washington Socialist monthly newsletter – with an article deadline of October 29. Scribble before you cosplay, and send your article draft to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.

The Washington Socialist welcomes solo or collaborative responses from our many Fall reading groups; pass along what you are learning and thinking to your comrades who aren’t present and to our wider readership on the DMV left. Join our #publications channel to chat this up on Slack and send individual or group responses to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.

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 to access and use Red Desk? Here are some visual how-tos.


Sunday, October 23

7 – 9pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting 

3 – 4:30pm | MoCo Branch Monthly Meeting (in person)

Wednesday, October 26

7:30pm | MoCo DSA General Election Discussion

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

Friday, October 28 

6:30pm | Ghostly Social and Costume Contest (in person, all are welcome)

Saturday, October 29 

3 – 4:30pm | Monthly meeting for release of the Washington Socialist newsletter

Sunday, October 30

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

7 – 8pm | NoVA Electoral Working Group Monthly Meeting


Wednesday, November 2

6 – 7pm | NoVA DSA Tenant Organizing Meeting

Friday, November 4 

6:30 – 9pm | NoVA DSA Gamenite (in person)

Sunday, November 6

7:30pm | NoVA DSA Labor Meeting

Sunday, November 20

7 – 9pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting


Ghostly Social and Costume Contest | Midlands Beer Garden

Join Pubs for a ghostly Halloween social event over at Midlands on October 28th. All are welcome to join, not just MDC DSA Members. The event will start at 6:30pm. We will be doing a costume contest with prizes, so feel free to come in your creepiest, memeiest, and most DSA-referential costumes. The contest will start at 7:30.

Fall Fest | Patagonia Georgetown

Patagonia DC will be hosting a Fall Festival on Saturday, October 22 from 11am-7pm at their Georgetown store (3104 M St NW). Local farm, food, and wellness nonprofits and community groups will be tabling throughout the day, a kids collage table will be set up for crafting, and free snacks and beverages will be provided! Patagonia will also be collecting donated canned goods, so please bring any you have to spare!

Bulb Bash | City Blossoms

Fall isn’t the end of the growing season, it’s the beginning of planning for the next one! Join City Blossoms on Saturday, October 22 from 9am-12pm for a Bulb Bash at The Farm at Fort Stanton (1812 Eerie St. SE). Volunteers will join the City Blossoms crew in helping to cover the Farm and future Youth Garden with flower bulbs that will blossom next spring – extra bulbs will also be available to take home!

This is a family-friendly and free event. Registration is requested.

Garlic Planting Party | Washington Youth Garden

There’s still plenty of work to do in the Washington Youth Garden (inside the National Arboretum) before the end of the year, and you can help! Join the gardeners on October 29 from 11-2pm to help plant garlic, learn how to make delicious fall treats and enjoy family-friendly craft activities for the little ones. The fall Garlic Planting Party is free and open to the public, but RSVP is encouraged.

Fall-O-Ween | Common Good City Farm

Common Good City Farm’s free Fall Fest takes place on Sunday, October 30 from 1-4 pm and will include free chili and other snacks for attendees. There will also be a costume contest, face painting, pumpkin decorating and more kid and family-friendly activities. The Fall Fest is free, but guests are also welcomed to stick around afterwards for Common Good’s fundraising Cocktail Hour and Karaoke from 5-7 pm. Masks are encouraged on the farm when not eating or drinking.


From The New Republic:Haitians Have United Against Foreign Intervention—and One Former U.S. Diplomat Agrees.

The good: The AFL-CIO is investing approximately $11 million dollars in new organizing. The mixed-or-even-bad: The federation is still spending only a fraction of its assets on organizing.

Somebody is still doing the work: “Bernie Sanders, Fearing Weak Democratic Turnout, Plans Midterms Blitz”

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