December 23, 2022
MDC DSA’s 2022 Internal Elections results
MDC DSA Convention wrap-up
Two officers charged in 2020 murder of DC resident
MDC DSA’s 2022 Internal Elections results
Last week, 266 Metro DC DSA members cast their votes for steering and priority campaigns. You can find full results on the members archive, and results are also included below:
- At-Large Steering Candidate winners: Aparna R, Bakari W, Carl R, Dieter L. M, Hayden G, Imara C, Kareem E and Philip B.
- Uncontested elections: Allison K (Campaigns Council Chair), Tim S (Treasurer), Michael M (Secretary)
- Priority Campaigns approved (applications linked): Labor Organizing, Stomp Out Slumlords, Montgomery County Rent Control Campaign, Defund MPD and WePower DC.
Ballots were sent out on Tuesday, December 13 and remained open until 11:59pm on Saturday, December 17. Out of 2,294 members who were sent a ballot, 266 cast a vote. The December ballot contained our elections for the local 2022 steering committee and five considerations for chapter priority campaign status. There were no reported issues with ballot voting. Full results for MDC DSA’s 2022 Internal Elections can be found here.
MDC DSA Convention wrap-up
The end of internal elections also bookmarks Metro DC DSA’s local convention. On December 11, chapter members convened to discuss chapter priorities and vote on general chapter resolutions (the resolutions and amendments can be found here):
- The body approved a budget for 2023 along with an Amendment which directed Metro DC DSA to donate $1,000 to the DSA Labor Solidarity Fund.
- Bylaw Amendment (BA) 1 was split into three separate amendments. The body rejected BA1.A2, which would have reduced required chapter meetings to quarterly rather than monthly. BA1.A3 (clarify changes to MDC DSA’s endorsement process) and BA1.A4 (update chapter priority campaign financing to be no less than 90% of the previous year) were approved.
- BA2, which would have made members’ individual GBM votes public, was rejected by the body.
- BA3 and its amendments, which clarified the process for rescinding or pulling out of DSA’s endorsement process, was approved.
The convention ran out of time to discuss the following resolutions and amendments, which will be debated and discussed at the January General Body Meeting:
- BA4 – Updating Working Group reporting requirements
- GR1 and Amendment: Disclosure of Chapter HGO Reports
- GR2: Create Chapter Training Goals and Boost Training Development
- GR3: Solidarity with Railroad Workers …
Text of these resolutions can be found at the DSA Convention Bulletin here.
Two officers charged in 2020 murder of DC resident
On Wednesday, a DC jury convicted police officer Terence Sutton of second degree murder for his involvement in the death of Karon Hylton-Brown in 2020. The jury also found his supervisor, Lt. Andrew Zabvsky, guilty of obstruction and conspiracy. The ruling is the first time in recent memory that a DC police officer has been convicted — or even charged — for an on-duty murder. The 2020 murder set off mass protests in DC, bookending that year of protest and mass action against the carceral state at home.
Local activists celebrated the ruling — especially in the precedent set by the conviction — but celebration was short lived. The mother of Karon Hylton-Brown was detained by US Marshals and held overnight in Virginia. Local abolitionist organization Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, which had been helping keep pressure and public awareness of this case, announced that she had been released without charges the following day.
The DC Council also passed legislation introduced by CM Janeese Lewis George on Tuesday which further restricts car chases, such as the one that led to the death of Hylton-Brown. Reform is a positive development, but MPD has shown that it is resistant to reform and serious change even when it comes from within its own ranks. This is why MDC DSA stands behind the call to defund the police to refund social support for DC’s working-class and violence interruption services. Our Defund MPD working group will continue operations in the new year. DSA members on the chapter slack can join the #defund-mpd channel to join our digital operations, and can stay abreast of updates by following this newsletter.
Arlington County Sheriff board ends voluntary collaboration with ICE, effective December 20
In response to a community-led campaign, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office announced an end to all voluntary collaboration between the department and ICE. The Coalition advocating for this released a statement on Twitter celebrating the decision. DSA members had proudly worked with a network of local activists and immigrant rights organizations to help spur this policy change. You can read the letter released by Sheriff Arthur here. If you would like to get plugged into DSA’s migrant justice operations in NOVA, please fill out this interest form.
Shake-up at the Wilson Building — committee assignments in DC set stage for 2023 DC policy fights
The last legislative session of the DC Council convened this week, voting on 54 bills which included a slew of social service and welfare expansions and a controversial purge of the DC Housing Authority’s governing board. Committee assignments were also announced; of note:
- Democratic socialists CM Janeese Lewis George (Ward 4) will chair the Facilities and Family Services committee and serve on the Labor, Transportation and Public Works Committees; and CM Zachary Parker (Ward 5) will serve on the Health Equity, Housing, Health and Facilities and Family Services Committee
- CM Anita Bonds (at-large) has been replaced as lead on the Housing committee by CM Robert White (at-large), and CM Charles Allen (Ward 6) has been swapped for CM Brooke Pinto (Ward 2) on the Judiciary Committee. CM Allen will chair the Transportation Committee, where DC’s commitment to establishing free bus transit is likely to be the marquee legislation of 2023.
Fired VA Starbucks worker wins back job and pay
Roanoke barista Tyler Hoffman, fired earlier this year by Starbucks, is being reinstated with seven months of back pay after filing charges with the NLRB. “Tyler is one of more than 100 union leaders whom Starbucks has fired in retaliation for organizing,” NoVA Labor’s Virginia Diamond tells Union City. “Starbucks is learning that they cannot fire their way out of bargaining with their workers. The movement is growing in spite of their vile union-busting tactics.” Listen to Hoffman on WPFW’s Your Rights At Work radio show and read more here from ABC8 News. From Union City Wednesday
Maryland socialists convene at statewide meeting
More than 50 people from across the state gathered in Silver Spring this past weekend for the first-ever Maryland DSA statewide meeting and a happy hour afterwards, including a contingent from the new Frederick DSA chapter. Discussion topics included the upcoming session of the Maryland General Assembly, which starts in January; how the state legislature really works; and new legislative opportunities with more progressive county councils in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and a new governor. To join our new Signal chat for discussing Maryland politics, post in the #montgomery-county or #prince-georges-branch channels on Slack or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DSA Multiracial Organizing Committee Discussion Resources
While organizing on the left, many often face challenges with class reductionism on one hand and identity essentialism on the other. How can socialists organize constructive politics based on solidarity across differences? Check out DSA’s Multiracial Organizing Committee (MROC)’s recent conversation with Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, author of Elite Capture and Reconsidering Reparations, Associate Professor at Georgetown University, and member of Metro DC DSA. Watch and share from Facebook or YouTube.
You can also use MROC’s discussion guide of Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else) for reading groups with members of your chapter or other comrades. Fill out this form to get involved in MROC!
Interested in leading a reading group?
The Political Ed team is gearing up for Spring and Summer Reading Groups! If you are interested in coordinating a specific book/reading or leading one of several groups focusing on Marx’s Capital, fill out this interest form.
Weekly Update Tip Line: The Metro DC DSA Tip Line is live. If you have news or events that you think should be promoted in the Weekly Update, please submit it to the form above. Include your contact information and any details you can for consideration.
The road map of MDC DSA’s activities — campaigns, working groups etc., including our three branches — is here.
Publications schedule: One final Update for 2022 appears Friday, December 30 and the January issue of the Washington Socialist monthly newsletter is scheduled with the weekly Update of Friday, January 6. Greet 2023 with news of what your campaign or WG has done/will do or what you think the DMV or global Left should do now. Article deadline is New Year’s Eve, but the editors are more inclined toward history than farce, so step carefully. Submissions to email@example.com.
Our Comms Working Group meets twice monthly; our next gaggle is Saturday, January 14 at 3pm to manage and advance the work-in-progress that is this Update. Join us also Saturday, January 28 to discuss and advance our monthly newsletter, The Washington Socialist.
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
The Fall 2022 issue of DSA’s Socialist Forum is now live! The new issue features ten articles covering a range of topics, from the recent national DSA Recommitment Drive to the practice of labor internationalism, to one DSA member’s struggles with navigating America’s inefficient and confusing disability program.
Here’s a remarkable column by NYT’s Michelle Goldberg, “The Left’s Fever is Breaking,” that solidly references (and links to) Maurice Mitchell’s much deeper analysis in The Forge. Inside game, outside game.
As for the outside game: two weeks ago we took note of this Socialist Forum article making a case for a DSA “classic realignment strategy” building within the Democratic Party. This week Tom Frank’s “The Deadly Lack of Imagination in the Democratic Party” in the NYT suggests that outside game might be a heavier lift still: “Sizable majorities of Americans desperately want traditional liberal measures like universal health care and economic fairness. But actually, existing liberalism, with its air of upper-crust contempt and its top-down moralism, rubs this deeply democratic nation exactly the wrong way.”
An interview with Los Angeles DA George Gascón conducted by comedian Adam Conover explores how District Attorneys are moving to reform municipal criminal justice systems.
The latest from 730DC — an experiment in developing new friendships in the era of late-capitalism. An interesting local study in the way locals develop friendships and form connections in modern DC.
The Warren Buffett Diet: We thought the octogenarian capitalist icon’s diet regime was “eat the other rich before they eat you” but it turns out otherwise, as we see in this oft-recycled post. It came from Insider. Let us know if you try it.
Redefining the Holidays, Political Education & Healing Series | Seeding Sovereignty
From December 22 through December 30, Seed Sovereignty (“a multi-lens collective that works to radicalize and disrupt colonized spaces”) will host a series of virtual sessions to help you rewire your thinking of the holidays and all their tropes. Sessions include, Jesus Was Palestinian – Settler Colonialism in the Holy Land; Santa Claus Was a Mushroom – The Potential of Psychedelics to Change the World; Let’s Make Fire Cider Together!; Radical Parenting: Having Hard Conversation with Kids During the Holidays; and Meditation for Radical Change. Sign up here for any and all sessions. Registration is free, donations are encouraged.
Tent Winterization Tips | Remora House
Whether you are unhoused or know someone who is or might be, knowing how to weatherize a tent is not only a matter of comfort – it can be a matter of life and death. DC homeless outreach organization Remora House has some great tips for how to keep tents warm and dry this winter.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Wednesday, January 4
6 – 7pm | NoVA Tenant Organizing Meeting
Friday, January 6
6:30 – 9pm | NoVA monthly Game Nite (in person, all welcome)
Saturday, January 14
3 – 4:30pm | Monthly Planning Meeting for the MDC DSA Newsletter
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.