December 30, 2022
Governor Abbott Continues Cruel Migrant Busing Stunt
DC Council Delays Washington Teachers’ Union Contract Ratification
Support the Right to Living Wages and Collective Bargaining for Maryland Higher Ed Workers
Busing operations organized by right-wing operatives exploit immigrants to attract headlines
On Christmas Eve, three buses brought over 100 immigrants from Texas to the Vice President’s Mansion in NW DC. Some had only t-shirts and many lacked cold-weather clothing. The buses were originally routed for New York, but were redirected to DC without notice. Local mutual aid organizers responded quickly to provide support and resources.
Similar events have been arranged by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The buses have been frequently arranged without notice or coordination with groups aiding travellers on their journeys or in setting roots in a community.
These busing operations have been weaponized by right-wing Governors in bids to frustrate officials in the Democratic Party (over 7,000 people have been bused to DC through these programs). An organizer with Sanctuary DMV told Politico that the federal government should formalize a federal busing program connected to mutual aid and support organizations. This would help people travel and settle safely.
Many immigrants are restricted from accessing local support services due to means-tested aid and administrative burdeons. Travellers without children are typically ineligible for city-sponsored housing and homeless services in DC – mutual aid and charity networks are often called on to fill the gap in need.
DC Council delays Washington Teachers’ Union contract ratification
Despite near unanimous approval between DC Public Schools and the WTU, the DC Council declined to add ratification to their last legislative session this year. The next opportunity for ratification will be on January 5, so we urge all DC residents to contact your council member, at-large council members and Chairman Phil Mendelson specifically to add ratification to the agenda. The current collective bargaining agreement ended in 2019, making pay raises, back pay and retention bonuses three years overdue. Show DC teachers have popular support.
Support the Right to Living Wages and Collective Bargaining for Maryland Higher Ed Workers
Students and faculty at Maryland public universities are currently denied the right to collectively bargain. The UMD chapter of the American Association of University Professors and the UMD Fearless Student Employees are starting a petition as they gear up to fight for collective bargaining rights and increased wages. Consider signing their petition, and learn more about higher education organizing in this previously published Washington Socialist article.
NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting — Thursday, January 12 at 6:15pm
Join us at our monthly NoVA Branch DSA organizing and planning meeting! We will welcome new members and discuss our current actions and campaigns. As always, we will address any current issues from our communities and allied organizations. You may join us in person at the Arlington Central Library or virtually via Zoom. We invite you to join us however you prefer!
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. Sign-ups for new groups are tentatively set for January 5, so please submit your reading group and syllabus as soon as possible. Please check the template syllabus here. Political education is an integral part of building socialism, and reading groups are a great way to do that. Meet new comrades and work together to develop a framework to analyze current and historical events independent of the capitalist status quo.
The road map of MDC DSA’s activities — campaigns, working groups etc., including our three branches — is here.
Publications schedule: This is the final Update of 2022 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 tomorrow, December 31. Submissions to email@example.com.
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.
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
People’s World documents the continuing fallout of the Biden Administration’s rail strikebreaking efforts. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen has had their first contested Presidential election, ousting Dennis Pierce for his support of the federally-brokered and enforced Tentative Agreement. Incoming President Edward Hall won 52% of the vote before Pierce withdrew his nomination.
Biden and labor losing that old feeling? “…in recent weeks, after Mr. Biden helped impose a contract on railroad workers that four unions had rejected, partly over its lack of paid sick days, many labor activists and scholars have begun to ask: How supportive is the president, really?” notes Noam Scheiber in the NYT. “To those reassessing Mr. Biden, the concern is that the president, by asking Congress to intervene and avert a strike, missed a rare opportunity to improve workers’ bargaining power in ways that could extend beyond the rail sector… [and] provided workers with a rare moment of leverage…” The article goes on to quote many who share our politics, including Jane McAlevey, but overlooks the backlash in one rail union as its president, who went along with the imposed contract, was ousted in an election, as detailed above also.
Writing in Daily Kos, Kellen Squire warns that Governor Youngkin is preparing to criminalize miscarriage in Virginia through his proposed 15-week abortion ban. Under current law, Medicaid only pays for abortion in cases of rape, incest, the life of the mother, or incapacitating fetal diagnoses. Youngkin plans to redirect that funding to cover the potential costs of incarcerating women in violation of his proposed abortion ban. What happens when women who need vital reproductive care inevitably miscarry?
Insider’s take on Alexandria’s Southern Towers saga, including the change of corporate overlords. Are there missing pieces in this picture?
It’s actually this WaPo simple: America’s teacher shortage will last until pay rises. There are, of course, also The Conversation’s less current nuances: The most recent efforts to combat teacher shortages don’t address the real problems
Google has metadata’d its data on 2022’s trendiest searches. This link is US only but you can switch to other nations.
Feed The People Mutual Aid DC | December 31, 2:30 to 4pm
The temperatures are dropping, but FTP Mutual Aid DC continues their weekly mutual aid exchanges in Dupont Circle. If you have the means, please consider donating to directly assist people in need. Tents, toiletries and winter clothing are particularly needed.
Help Develop DC’s Zero Waste Plan | DPW
DC’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is currently strategizing around a Zero Waste Plan (e.g., food waste from restaurants and other businesses, composting, etc.) and they’re seeking input from the public to help shape it! If you’d like to provide your thoughts, the comment opportunity will be open until this Friday, December 30. Categories to provide feedback on include: Reducing Per Capita Waste Generation; Increasing Recycling & Composting; Transitioning from Single-Use Towards Re-Use; Resilient Zero Waste Operations & Infrastructure; Building an Inclusive & Local Circular Economy; Increasing Education & Enforcement Community-Wide; and Protecting the Environment for a Cleaner DC.
Introduction to Restorative Justice Circles | DC Peace Team
Restorative Justice (RJ) is a philosophy and set of practices that engage the community in building relationships and repairing harm through inclusive dialogue, deep understanding, and shared power. Interested in learning more? Join the DC Peace Team for their first training of the year on Saturday, January 14 from 9am – noon! Sign up for the RJ training here and see more offerings from the DC Peace Team via their website.
Now Hiring! | DC Greens, HIPS DC
HIPS advances the health rights and dignity, of people and communities impacted by sex work and drug use by providing non-judgmental harm reduction services, advocacy, and community engagement led by those with lived experience. HIPS is currently hiring for two full-time positions: MAT Community Health Worker (CHW) and a Mobile Housing Specialist. DC Greens advances health equity by building a just and resilient food system. DC Greens focuses on policy and program efforts that advance health equity and systemic change, such as the Produce Prescription Program, “Food as Medicine,” and their urban farm, The Well. DC Greens is currently hiring for a People & Human Resources Manager and a Produce Prescription Program Coordinator and plans to open more positions in 2023.
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)
Wednesday, January 11
7:30 – 8:30pm | We Power DC Organizing Meeting
Thursday, January 12
6:15 – 7:45pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting (Hybrid)
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.