Oct 28, 2022

October 28, 2022



  • Rally to Support Collective Bargaining for Fairfax County Teachers on Thursday, November 3 at 6pm

  • Initiative 82 Canvasses to Launch in Ward 8 This Weekend

  • New Report Suggests Evidence of Mass Wage Theft in Restaurants Across DC

Rally to Support Collective Bargaining for Fairfax County Teachers on Thursday, November 3 at 6pm

Please support collective bargaining in the largest school district in Virginia! We aim to push the School Board to introduce their Collective Bargaining Resolution to ensure teachers have a seat at the table. We will gather on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6pm for the board meeting at Luther Jackson Middle School (3020 Gallows Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042). Art Build at the Gateway Starbucks next door begins at 5:30pm. RSVP here if you think you can join and organizers will follow up with more details.

Initiative 82 Canvasses to Launch in Ward 8 This Weekend

DC has sent out mail-in ballots, early voting starts in less than a week and the District is just two weekends away from Election Day on November 8. The DSA have been running canvassing efforts over the past month to get out the vote for Initiative 82, which would raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from $5.35 to match the non-tipped minimum wage (currently $16.10) — reducing poverty and shrinking the gender and racial wage gaps for workers across DC.

If you’ve been waiting to join a canvass, now is the time! The restaurant lobby has been ramping up its attacks, so every face-to-face conversation we have with voters makes a huge difference. DSA members have knocked more than 8,500 doors for I82. If you are interested in getting the word out for Initiative 82, fill out this form and a DSA organizer will be in touch.

On Saturday, DSA will launch from the Barry Farm Recreation Center (1230 Sumner Rd SE) in Ward 8, a short walk from the Anacostia Metro station on the Green Line. On Sunday, we’ll be launching from the Fort Totten Metro station. Both days we’ll start at 1pm and go to a happy hour on completion.

New Report Suggests Evidence of Mass Wage Theft in Restaurants Across DC

On Wednesday, DC Jobs With Justice (DCJWJ) released a report detailing massive evidence of wage theft and noncompliance with DC labor laws on the part of DC bars and restaurants.

In 2018, the DC Council overturned Initiative 77 and passed compromise legislation that included a requirement that all businesses paying the tipped minimum wage report wages and tips to the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES). DCJWJ’s findings suggest that noncompliance with the requirements passed with this legislation are the norm, not the exception. DCJWJ suggests 65% of DC restaurants never submitted their wages to DOES over the course of a year — only 11% reported consistently. You can read the full report here. You can also read coverage of the report in DCist.

In the course of organizing and contacting workers in support of Initiative 82, Metro DC DSA has been documenting tipped workers’ experiences and frustrations with the tipped minimum wage. The DSA released another worker testimony on Wednesday, and you can find others available on Metro DC DSA’s instagram account.

From data provided to DCJWJ through FOIA requests, some restaurants even reported paying their tipped workers below DC’s 2021 tipped minimum wage of $5.05/hr — some workers were paid as low as $3.89 an hour, the tipped minimum wage in 2018. 

If you are a worker who has experienced wage theft at work, you can submit your information to DCJWJ, who are organizing workers along these lines, using this form. (DCJWJ is a labor rights coalition that promotes and protects the interests of working people. The DSA is a proud and historic member of this organization.)


Ghostly Social and Costume Contest at Midlands Beer Garden TONIGHT at 6:30pm

Join the Publications Working Group for a ghostly Halloween social event over at Midlands TONIGHT, Friday, 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 lefty costumes. The contest will start at 7:30pm.

Socialist Night School: Where Does Brazil Go Now? Monday, November 6 at 6pm

This Sunday, October 30, Brazilians will decide whether or not to reelect far-right extremist Jair Bolsonaro. Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has mounted an epic political comeback and has shown himself uniquely capable of confronting a reactionary onslaught in the world’s fourth-largest democracy. Regardless of the electoral outcome, Brazil faces enormous challenges and opportunities in the years ahead. Monday, November 7 at 6pm join ecosocialist organizer Sabrina Fernandes and history professor Andre Pagliarini for a conversation about the campaign and its implications, Brazilian history, the left, and possible futures for Latin America’s largest nation. This event will be hybrid — in-person and online. In addition to RSVPing, please fill out this form if you are interested in joining us in-person (near Dupont Circle). Seating is limited. DSA members and supporters are welcome.


2022 Convention Bylaw Amendment & Resolution Workshop — Wednesday, November 2

Join your MDC DSA comrades on November 2nd from 7 to 8:30pm for an informational virtual workshop on how to craft bylaw amendments and resolutions ahead of the 2022 convention. If you have an idea for a way to strengthen our chapter and want to learn more about our convention procedures, this is a time to get questions answered and feedback from others. We will go over the rules and procedures for submitting bylaw amendments and resolutions, review examples, and have open workshop time where you can run ideas by fellow members, get their comments, and begin working on language and formatting together. As a reminder, the deadline to submit bylaw amendments and resolutions for convention will be November 21st.


So you want to be a staffer? Political Staff Training hosted by the PEC — Thursday, November 10

Our electoral project doesn’t end with getting more socialists elected to office — we also need more socialists working as politicians’ staff. The Political Engagement Committee will be hosting a training for all members interested in learning more about working as campaign or legislative staff from 7:30 to 8:30pm on Zoom. Members with experience as political staff will share their advice with attendees with an open Q&A session to follow. This training is part of the PEC’s work on General Resolution 4 passed at the 2021 convention: Building Electoral Power and Accountability.

Rent Stabilization in Montgomery County

The campaign for rent stabilization continues in Montgomery County. The Montgomery County branch and allies are pushing for a permanent rent stabilization law, which would limit annual rent increases to a small amount, with the support of progressive incoming council members. 

There are two upcoming opportunities to get involved:

  • Join us to knock on doors in downtown Silver Spring and talk to tenants about rent stabilization at 1pm on November 12. RSVP here.
  • Montgomery County DSA will be marching in the Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade, which is held the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This is the only Thanksgiving parade in the Metro DC area and is widely attended by politicians in the area — and is televised. We’re planning on putting together a float and handing out flyers about rent stabilization. The more people who can march with us, the bigger the impact we will have. RSVP here and email montgomerycountydsa@gmail.com if you’d like to be involved in planning or performing in the parade.

As the incoming County Council works out the details for a permanent bill, it is important that they pass a six-month temporary rent stabilization to keep tenants in their homes. Send a letter to the council here.

Metro DC DSA Fall Book Exchange — Saturday, November 12 at noon

Join Metro DC DSA for a fall book exchange and DC Public Library card sign-up on Saturday, November 12 from noon to 3pm at Alethia Tanner Park. Bring your books, pick up some free swag and learn about getting access to library resources in DC and surrounding areas. The event is open to all and will take place at Alethia Tanner Park, 227 Harry Thomas Way NE, Washington, DC 20002. An alternate location will be announced in advance if it rains. See you there!

Candidate Accountability: What it looks like and why we do it — Tuesday, November 15 at 7pm

The PEC is inviting all chapter members to its Tuesday, November 15 meeting for a discussion on candidate accountability. As socialists aiming to win political power, it’s vital we know how, when, and why we keep elected officials in line with their campaign promises. We’ll have an internal discussion about what that should look like, issues the chapter has had in the past, and how we’ve dealt with it then. This discussion will serve as a basis for another discussion at our yearly convention on the topic. Watch for a link in next week’s Update.

Sign Up: Training on How to Organize a Walking Tour — Wednesday, November 16 at 8pm

If you enjoyed or are interested in Metro DC DSA’s Walking Tours and want to get more involved, sign up now for a 90 minute online training on How to Organize a Walking Tour: Training on Outdoor Political Education! The training takes place on Wednesday, November 16 at 8pm and will cover all aspects related to safe outdoor political education, with a specific focus on walking tours. The training will cover what topics work for political education, how to conduct sign ups, and how to route tour attendees to continuing education and organizing. It will also cover logistical details such as how to coordinate supplies, find and fill volunteer roles, send reminders, arrange content, and do follow up. The Political Education Working Group plans to hold outdoor political education events and walking tours this coming spring and summer — sign up now to get trained on how to help (and suggest some topics)!

MDC DSA now has tote bags

Metro DC DSA is leading the fight against inequality and fascism in the DMV. We are the democratic, organizing home of the socialist movement because of working people like you who volunteer your energy to help us win our priority campaigns. We are asking for your help to power and sustain these efforts. Contributions like these help us elect endorsed candidates to the DC Council, support tenant organizing, stand with workers, fight to defund MPD, win public power and so much more.

When you sign up for a $10/month recurring donation, we’ll send you a code to get a free tote bag from our merch store. We think they’re pretty cool and we can’t wait to see you carrying your things in them around the District.

You can also check out some of our other merch offerings here. We just restocked the MDC DSA T-shirts and hoodies that many are calling an ‘instant classic’. (You’re hearing this more and more.)

Migrant Justice: Two Upcoming Educational Opportunities

Border Abolition Study Group (11/17 5pm)! A free, virtual learning space to deepen your analysis of border abolition, carceral economies, and decolonization. Join the session by RSVPing here

Open Borders Conference (this Saturday, 10am – 6pm): The one-day conference will be a space for people to envision a world without deportation. Cost is $20. If you wish to attend, please email novabranch@mdcdsa.org to inquire about possible reimbursement. Registration page is here.

If you want to get involved with our Migrant Justice workgroup, please email novabranch@mdcdsa.org.


Publications Schedule: Friday, November 4 we publish the November Washington Socialist monthly newsletter – with an article deadline of tomorrow, October 29. So scribble before you cosplay, and send your article draft to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org. November Updates are scheduled for Fridays, Nov. 11, 18 and 25 and the December monthly newsletter will be dated Friday, December 2.

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.

Our annual MDC DSA convention (in December) is when we tinker with and update our chapter bylaws. Wait – we have bylaws? Yep, and you can find them here. A workshop on how to propose bylaw amendments is set for Nov. 2 (see BRIEFS, above).

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.


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

Thursday, November 3

6 – 8:30pm | Social Meetup — NoVA Branch DSA *NEW LOCATION*

Friday, November 4 

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

Sunday, November 6

7:30pm | NoVA DSA Labor Meeting

Monday, November 7

5 – 7pm | Where Does Brazil Go Now? — Socialist Night School

Wednesday, November 9

6 – 9pm | MoCo DSA Post-election front yard party (in person)

Thursday, November 10

6:30 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting (hybrid attendance) — Theme = Medicare 4 ALL

Saturday, November 12

noon – 3pm | Metro DC DSA Fall Book Exchange

1pm | Rent Stabilization Canvass (in person)

Wednesday, November 16

7 – 8:30pm | How to Organize a Walking Tour – Political Education

Saturday, November 19

9am | MoCo DSA at the Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade (in person)

Sunday, November 20

7 – 9pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting

Sunday, November 27

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


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 to 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 to 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 to 7pm. Masks are encouraged on the farm when not eating or drinking.

Open Borders Conference | A World Without Deportation

This Saturday, October 29, 10am to 6pm: The one-day virtual conference will be a space for people to envision a world without deportation. Cost is $20. If you wish to attend, please email novabranch@mdcdsa.org to inquire about possible reimbursement. Registration page is here.


Novelist Kim Stanley Robinson is interviewed in Socialter, Englished in Jacobin (and by an uncommonly sharp interviewer) in a wide-ranging survey of near-future possibilities and the Anthropocene imperative of a transition to democratic socialism: “the term degrowth … seems wrong to me, as being some kind of capitulation to the current definition of “growth” that is quantified by GDP and GWP — in effect, growth of profit, as being the only rubric or measurement system we use. This is a very narrow use of the word, and new definitions of growth are already there which suggest ‘growth of goodness’ or ‘growth of human welfare.’’’

The legendary urban geographer, autodidact and prophetic empiricist Mike Davis has passed away at 76. Read about his spectacular life in The Nation — and then get started on one of his many groundbreaking socialist works. And here is an August Guardian interview conducted as Davis contemplated his exit.

The UK doesn’t have a written constitution, so infringement on civil liberties or what we call free speech is (maybe) easier there than here unless you are the duplicitous Ass. Justice Alito. George Monbiot in The Guardian points out how the right to protest in the home country is under serious threat because of a behind-the-PM-carousel move by the recently reinstated Home Secretary that portends a surveillance society.

A new book by Wall Street Journal reporter Katherine Blunt, California Burning: the Fall of Pacific Gas & Electricand What it Means for America’s Power Grid, documents the recent and troubling history of the power company that dominates Northern California.

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