Jan 13, 2023

January 13, 2023



  • Stop the Steal: Mayor Bowser aims to redirect $2.5 million from homeless services budget to police impound lot

  • First General Body Meeting of 2023 — Sunday, January 22nd 7-9pm

  • Spring 2023 Chapter Reading Groups — Sign Up Now!

Stop the Steal: Mayor Bowser aims to redirect $2.5 million from homeless services budget to police impound lot

Mayor Bowser has announced that she wants to take $2.5 million from temporary family housing and use that money to complete a new impound lot for the Metropolitan Police Department. MPD’s budget is already more than double that of the Department of Human Services. The Council has until January 20 to file a notice of disapproval to halt this budget larceny. We must then urge the Council to follow up with a full resolution of disapproval to protect this resource. 

MDC DSA’s Defund MPD working group is asking members and allies to call and message their Councilmembers to halt the measure. Aside from your Ward Councilmember, critical contacts are:

For full list of Council contacts, visit https://dccouncil.gov/council-directory/

First General Body Meeting of 2023 — Sunday, January 22nd 7-9pm

Our General Body Meetings are opportunities for members new and old, from all across the chapter, to get together, hear updates on working groups and chapter business, and debate any chapter resolutions that might come up. This month’s GBM is going to be a continuation of leftover business from our 2022 December Convention. The convention bulletin (which includes details of all the proposed bylaw amendments and general resolutions) can be found here. The items that were not voted on during convention and will be debated on the 22nd are:

Note: The sponsors of Amendment to GR1 and GR1 have decided to pull their resolutions from consideration for this GBM and will propose a joint resolution at a later date. ALSO – there will be no live voting at the meeting, only motivation and debate on each item. Voting will take place over OpaVote in the week following the GBM.

Register for the GBM here.

Spring 2023 Chapter Reading Groups — Sign Up Now!

Sign-ups for MDC DSA Political Education Spring 2023 Reading Groups are now open! You can find the sign-up form here – make sure to enroll before they kick off in late January/early February. Reading groups are the perfect opportunity to meet comrades, learn socialist theory, make it through Capital Vol. 1 with a group by your side, study together on a topic you’ll be organizing on or even write together…

We have a great line-up this semester! In addition to the return of our classic Capital in the Capitol reading group on Vol. I of Marx’s Capital, we have groups that include Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s Abolition Geography sponsored by the Northern Virginia Branch, David Roediger’s Wages of Whiteness, bell hooks’ All About Love sponsored by the SocFem section, a Marxist art criticism group called Marx at the Museum, the Public Power Reading Group sponsored by We Power DC, a housing reading group on City of Segregation sponsored by Stomp Out Slumlords, the Palestine and Socialism reading group sponsored by the Internationalism Working Group, the Animal Liberation Reading Group with monthly vegan potlucks, a Law and Economy reading group, a nonfiction writing group sponsored by the Publications Working Group and much more! Learn more and sign up today!


Rent Stabilization Canvass in Downtown Silver Spring — Sunday, January 22

Tenants across Montgomery County are receiving rent increases of 10%, 15%, 20% or more. Next Sunday, January 22, the Montgomery County branch and coalition partners in the Montgomery County Racial Equity network will be canvassing an apartment complex in downtown Silver Spring where tenants have received large rent increases and talking to tenants about rent stabilization. We will be joined by county council members so that they can hear directly from tenants. RSVP here to join us and help make permanent rent stabilization for all of Montgomery County a reality.

Prince George’s Council Member Proposes Rent Stabilization Measure

[from DC News Now] This new proposed bill to stabilize rent could give county officials and renters a seat at the table to find a solution to skyrocketing rents. A 3% cap on rent increases for 6 months in the county is the early proposal; District 7 council member Krystal Oriadha is the lead sponsor.

“Recently we’ve been seeing rent hikes that go anywhere from $100 to $800. I think those are cases where it should never be normalized, it should never be accepted, and the county council is taking the right steps towards a permanent solution so that our families are stable,” said Jorge Benitez Perez, lead organizer with CASA in Prince George’s County.


Socialist Night School: The Next Shift on Health Care, Labor and Deindustrialization — Monday, January 23

At 6pm on Monday, January 23rd, the Political Education Working Group is hosting a Socialist Night School in a virtual setting on The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America – make sure to sign up here for the link! Gabriel Winant, the book’s author, will take chapter members inside the Rust Belt to show how health care became a dominant economic sector in the US through the crises of the 1970s onward. In Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods, he found through his research that, as steelworkers and their families grew older, they required more health care. The insurance benefits they had acquired through their unions and class struggle funded hospitals and nursing homes’ expansions and hiring – even as the industrial plants that funded their benefits closed down.

But many care jobs bear little resemblance to the manufacturing work the city lost. Unlike their blue-collar predecessors, home health aides and hospital staff work unpredictable hours for low pay. And the new working class disproportionately comprises women and people of color. The Next Shift documents the changes through a Marxist feminist analysis and suggests the power health care workers and care workers have to create a better world. The Socialist Night School will cover The Next Shift, take questions and comments from attendees, and inform attendees how to get involved in Chapter organizing and education. This is a virtual meeting – make sure to sign up for the link!


Interested in Political Education? Attend the Working Group Meeting — Sunday, January 29

All MDC chapter members are invited to attend the online Political Education Working Group meeting on Sunday, January 29th at 1pm! Sign up here for the link. If you’re interested in getting involved with Walking Tours, book exchanges, reading groups, Socialist Night Schools or similar events, or shaping the Chapter’s political education in 2023, this is the perfect event for you! Especially for members active in priority campaigns and other organizing work, this meeting can be a way to suggest or generate ideas for how to integrate political education into new parts of the chapter. The meeting will introduce the Political Education Working Group’s set up, detail ways to get involved, and go through upcoming work in 2023. The link to the meeting is only available through registration.

ATU Local 689 members working at Loudoun County Transit are ON STRIKE

Loudoun County Transit workers, members of ATU Local 689, walked out on strike at 3am this past Wednesday, January 11. “Keolis left us with no other choice but to walk off the job,” said Local 689 President Raymond Jackson. Negotiations with Keolis – the French-owned global corporation that contracts with Loudoun County – broke down because the company is insisting on a two-tier wage system in which bus operators for local routes would be paid $12 less per hour than commuter bus operators doing the same work.

The strike and picket are ongoing. NoVA comrades – show your solidarity on the picket line at 43031 Loudoun Center Place in Leesburg!


AFL-CIO’s MLK Civil and Human Rights Conference

The conference begins today (running January 13-16) at a DC Hotel: check the details here.

Maryland’s General Assembly convened Wednesday

Wednesday began a 90-day session, with new, even larger Democratic supermajorities in both chambers salivating at the prospect of an incoming Democratic governor, Wes Moore, after eight years of Larry Hogan. Before opening day, 130 Senate bills and 120 House bills had been prefiled: Here are some highlights of the bills on tap from Maryland Matters and broader themes to be addressed from the Baltimore Sun.


MDC DSA PEC members are sought; how to apply

MDC DSA’s Political Engagement Committee (PEC) coordinates chapter processes related to the recruitment, vetting and recommendation of electoral candidates for endorsement by chapter members, as well as campaign and legislative advocacy support. The PEC must include a minimum of one resident from DC, Maryland and Virginia, respectively. People who would like to be on the PEC must fill out this form by January 24 — reach out to @Carl R on Slack with questions.


About MDC DSA: The local chapter’s website is here. That’s where members and interested leftists can scan the most recently updated versions of the Steering Committee’s 2022 meetings as well as 2022 General Body Meetings. Also, explore our deep and current history in archives of Socialist Night School, our chapter leadership’s statements on events past and present, the range of our sponsored Reading Groups and the topic-organized archive of articles in the Washington Socialist. The road map of MDC DSA’s activism — campaigns, working groups, etc. — is here. And here is an introduction to the chapter including our branches covering the DMV. 

Publications schedule: January’s Updates will appear Fridays, the 20th and 27th, and the February issue of the Washington Socialist goes out with the Friday, February 3rd Update. Articles for the February issue should be submitted by January 28 to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org. 

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 all possible details for consideration. Deadline is Thursdays at 4pm for the following Friday publication.

Our Pubs Working Group meets twice monthly, besides this month; check out the #publications channel on Slack for discussion, scheduling, etc.

The January 2023 issue of the Washington Socialist newsletter features these new articles:


Public works for public goods – and couldn’t anybody anywhere do this at various scales? Ellicott City, call DNR… How California Could Save Up Its Rain to Ease Future Droughts From The Conversation – “Instead of watching epic rainfalls just drain into the Pacific Ocean, the state could put it in the ground to replenish groundwater supplies.”

Is a “victory for competitive capitalism” a forward step, a “nonreformist reform” on the path to democratic socialism? Robert Reich makes it sound that way, in appealing fashion. Touted by our comrade Dave R.

An essayist in Gawker takes issue with the stance that “some substantive minority of people in general view the political value of an act as its ultimate, determinative value. Thus other things they might enjoy or value need to be reconfigured to have political value, or to be in plausible proximity to something that has such value, because otherwise they will feel judged about it and that would be bad.” Instead, “not everything you enjoy must be ‘an act of resistance.’” Passed along in Slack #random by one of our chapter comrades.

NiemanLab says we are doing something right here in the left-wing comms sphere. Unfortunately, our counterparties like Fox News and Breitbart also seem to be doing so. “Partisan media offers easier-to-read political news than mainstream outlets, study suggests…” Hyperpartisan outlets use words a larger share of the population understands, researchers found.

But wait – doesn’t truth-telling have power that lies don’t? Alas, there’s evidence that it doesn’t. “Good news: Misinformation isn’t as powerful as feared! Bad news: Neither is information… To people who publish facts, it’s appealing to think of them as powerful. But people’s belief systems go a lot deeper than facts.” (also from Niemanlab).


Taking it to the Max, Fundraiser | DC Abortion Fund (DCAF)

DCAF’s first event of the year will take place this Saturday, January 14 at Penn Social (801 E. Street, NW). The fundraising event will honor the life of reproductive rights activist Max Kamin-Cross and is organized in partnership with Planned Parenthood and DuPont Clinic. Come for the abortion fundraiser, stay for the nacho bar, specialty Fireball shots and arcade games. This event is ticketed.

MLK Day Peace Walk 

The District’s annual MLK Day Peace Walk and Parade will take place this Monday, January 16. The District leads its own schedule of events, which can be found at https://mlkholidaydc.org/, though many other organizers and local advocacy organizations will also be participating and hosting activities throughout the day. Official offerings include the parade (9:30am assembly at R.I.S.E Center at St. Elizabeth’s, step off at 11am), peace walk (10am peace rally and assembly at Shepherd Park, step off at 10:45am), and wellness fair (11am-1pm, 2006 MLK Ave SE). Across the nation and the world, Dr. King’s life and legacy is commemorated by a day of service and promoted as A Day On and Not a Day Off. The Martin Luther King Jr. Parade symbolizes the need to continue Dr. King’s work.

Tribunal on Assange extradition case set for January 20 in DC

On January 20 at 2pm, journalists, whistleblowers, lawyers, publishers and parliamentarians will gather at the National Press Club in Washington DC to present expert testimony on the case of Julian Assange — the publisher who founded WikiLeaks, exposed crimes by the US government and now faces 175 years in prison if extradited to the US from Belmarsh Prison, where he is being held in the UK. Scheduled speakers include Jeremy Corbyn. Please register to attend.

Community Organizing Fellowship | Rising Organizers

Rising Organizers is accepting applications until January 22, 2023 for their Spring Community Organizing Fellowship Program. The fellowship is designed to help folks new to organizing and activism develop the skills and strategies that will allow them to build their own projects and contribute to existing organizations. This fellowship is open to all, and is particularly intended for those who have little to no organizing experience. Apply here.


Thursday, January 19

6 – 8:30pm | Northern Virginia Branch Social Meetup (in person)

Friday, January 20th

5pm | Socialist Feminist Section Happy Hour

Sunday, January 22

12:30pm | MoCo Branch Rent Stabilization Canvass (in person)

7 – 9pm | MDC DSA January General Body Meeting

Monday, January 23

6 – 8pm | Socialist Night School: The Next Shift

Wednesday, January 25

7pm | MoCo DSA Branch Advisory Committee January Meeting

Sunday, January 29

1 – 3pm | MDC DSA Political Education Committee January Meeting

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