Jan 27, 2023

Jan 27, 2022



  • Rally for rent stabilization in Montgomery County — Monday, January 30, 12:30pm

  • OpaVote ballot sent to members in good standing — ballots due TOMORROW, Saturday, January 28, 11:59pm

  • Virginia transit workers continue their fight against corporate greed — support striking ATU Local 689 members on the picket line

Rally for rent stabilization in Montgomery County — Monday, January 30, 12:30pm

The fight for rent stabilization in Montgomery County continues! Last week, over 40 volunteers turned up to join a DSA-led canvass in support of expanded rent control efforts in Montgomery County. While the movement has strong momentum, the landlord lobby continues to push back at every opportunity. DSA members and allies have two upcoming opportunities to fight for rent stabilization: an upcoming rally on Monday, January 30 and a tenant canvass on Saturday, February 4.

The Montgomery County Racial Equity (MORE) Network, which includes Montgomery County DSA, is calling on all supporters of affordable housing to join a 12:30pm rally and press conference on Monday, January 30th in Rockville, before a scheduled discussion for the Planning, Housing, and Parks Committee meeting. County Council Vice President Andrew Friedson (District 1) has assembled a hastily scheduled panel of housing experts to discuss Montgomery County’s housing crisis — by invitation only. While the details are still not clear, we expect the speakers to be weighted towards opposing rent stabilization despite studies and local evidence showing that rent stabilization works. Tenants and working people in Montgomery County, meanwhile, have been left out of the conversation. More details and RSVP here.

After the rally, join us and the MORE Network for a tenant canvass in the White Oak area of Silver Spring on Saturday, February 4 at 11am. Tenants in this complex have reported large rent increases and maintenance issues. We will be talking to them about rent stabilization, and a member of the Montgomery County Council will be on hand to talk directly to renters. RSVP here.

OpaVote ballot sent to members in good standing — ballots due TOMORROW, Saturday, January 28, 11:59pm

On Tuesday, January 24, all Metro DC DSA members in good standing should have received an OpaVote ballot for the items below, which were debated during our January General Body Meeting:

Ballots will remain open until 11:59pm on Saturday, January 28 (tomorrow!!) – submit your ballot by then to have your vote counted. If you have not received a ballot and are a member in good standing (and the email isn’t in your spam folder), please contact internal-elections@mdcdsa.org.

Virginia transit workers continue their fight against corporate greed — support striking ATU Local 689 members on the picket line

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 members working for Loudoun County Transit contractor Keolis walked off the job on January 11, and they’ve held the line ever since. The union rejected Keolis’ “last, best and final offer” on day three of the strike, with ATU Local 689 President Raymond Jackson calling the offer “insulting and shameful. This company continues to treat our members with disrespect and disdain and continues to bargain in bad faith … It’s also an insult to our riders, who Keolis has abandoned with this contract offer. We will continue to stand strong and united on the picket line until our members get the fair and just contract that they deserve.”

As outlined in a recent Labor Notes article, the ATU strike is about a host of familiar workers’ rights issues: better pay, dignity on the job, the elimination of unfair two-tier wage structures and more. It’s also part of a larger struggle against privatization: “Keolis, a French multinational [is] one of the largest private operators of public transit systems in the U.S. The company has challenged the union’s right to strike, its right to a contract, and even its existence. … For Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, these fights are not just over bad behavior from this or that private operator, they’re about whether buses should be a public service or a source of private profit.”

Show your support for striking Local 689 members at the picket line, 42031 Loudoun Center Place, Leesburg, VA!


Interested in political education? Attend the Working Group meeting — Sunday, January 29, 1pm

All chapter members are invited to attend the online Political Education Working Group meeting THIS 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.

Maryland comrades: Environmental Legislative Summit — Tuesday, January 31, 6pm

Tune in virtually to the annual Maryland Environmental Summit, sponsored by Maryland’s environmental community. Turnout for this signature event demonstrates to our legislators the power and public support behind environmental issues, so showing up is invaluable. Democratic control across state government is no reason to sit back and relax, as we know. Register for tickets here: You will hear from our environmental leaders and learn about important environmental bills in the General Assembly’s 2023 session (and maybe bring some ecosocialism to the party).


Attend the Reproductive Justice Working Group’s first public meeting — Wednesday, February 1, 7pm

Join the Reproductive Justice Working Group for our first public meeting on Wednesday, February 1 at 7pm. It is open to all, including non-DSA members. For our first meeting, we will read and discuss two brief articles: “Seizing the Means of Reproduction” and “Reproductive Justice, Not Just Rights.” We hope these monthly meetings will foster conversations, expand our network and build community with local comrades. Be sure to register here.


Sign up for Spring 2023 Chapter Reading Groups — one week left!

Sign-ups for MDC DSA Political Education Spring 2023 Reading Groups will remain open until Sunday, February 5th! You can find the sign-up form here — make sure to enroll ASAP. 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 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!

After the Storm seeks artists for socialist comic book

Metro DC DSA’s anti-capitalist futurist magazine After the Storm is looking for artists and illustrators to help bring to life the vision of a socialist serial comic that’s fun and educational. The comic is written by a student in the PG County Public Schools system and is geared towards middle grade readers. Artists will be paid for their work. To learn more about the project and how to get involved, send a sample of your work along with your availability to afterthestormmag@gmail.com.


Sign up for next Socialist Night School: Stayed on Freedom – hybrid event, Wednesday, February 8

Make sure to sign up in advance for the next Socialist Night School – an in-person or virtual book launch of Stayed on Freedom on February 8th at 6:30pm with author Dan Berger. Stayed on Freedom is a book about two people in the Black Power movement, recounting the decades-long journey of Zoharah Simmons and Michael Simmons, who fell in love while organizing tenants and workers in the South. Berger is an author and historian of the carceral state, a public scholar who focuses on grassroots organizing against prisons from a Left perspective. Whether you want to attend his talk in-person or watch the virtual stream, sign up now!

Calling all educators!

Do you work in the educational sector? Are you interested in discussing ways that Metro DC DSA could support our region’s educators? Connect with Dieter L.M. at dieter@mdcdsa.org to start the conversation around how to organize our educators – from teachers to support staff – and how to advocate on their behalf.


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: This is the final Update of January. February updates will be sent on Fridays the 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th, with the February issue of the Washington Socialist going out with the Friday, February 3rd Update. Articles for the February issue should be submitted by January 28 (tomorrow!!) 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.


Sunday, January 29

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

5 – 6:30pm | MDC DSA Internationalism Working Group Meeting

Monday, January 30

1pm | Rally for Rent Stabilization in Montgomery County

Wednesday, February 1

7pm | MDC DSA Reproductive Justice Working Group Public Meeting

Friday, February 3

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

Saturday, February 4

11am | MoCo Rent Stabilization Canvass (in person) 

Wednesday, February 8

6:30pm | Socialist Night School: Stayed on Freedom (hybrid)

Thursday, February 9

6:15pm | NoVA Branch DSA Monthly Organizing Meeting (in person; Zoom option)


Community Table | Serve Your City / Ward 6 Mutual Aid

Saturday, January 28, Miner Elementary School (601 15 Street NE) will host their Community Table, at which neighbors can pick up free cleaning supplies, diapers, household items and more. The event will start at 11am.

Community Trainings | DC Peace Team

DC Peace Team, whose mission is to “cultivate the habits and skills of nonviolence in our communities, so we can better resist injustice, and thus, build a more sustainable just peace,” has three upcoming community trainings: “Active Bystander Intervention Training,” tomorrow, January 28, 9am-12pm; “Restorative Justice Practices & Family Dynamics,” February 4, 9am-12pm; “Nonviolent Self-Defense Training,” February 4, 2-5pm. Sessions take place online, and payment options are on a sliding scale. See DC Peace Team’s website to register and for training details.

Info Session and Narcan Training | HIPS, DC Safety Squad

Join this info session to learn how to get plugged into the DC Safety Squad! HIPS will share skills necessary to identify someone overdosing on opiates and how to use Narcan to reverse an overdose. They will also provide a community-level perspective on using harm reduction to reduce morbidity and mortality from IV drug use and opiate overdose in the community. This is a virtual event that takes place on Monday, January 30 from 6:30-8:30pm. Register here.

Film screening and fundraiser for Defend the Atlanta Forest | Food Not Bombs DC

Food Not Bombs will host a film screening of The Animal People (2019) on Thursday, February 2 benefiting Defend the Atlanta Forest. The screening and fundraiser will be held at The Outrage (1811 14 Street NW) and start at 5pm. Tickets are available on a sliding scale from $5-$25, and free drinks, snacks and ‘zines will be available. Masks are required.


NYT columnist Jamelle Bouie recounts the contributions of A. P. Randolph, over many decades, to align the civil rights struggle with the struggle for economic justice – starting in a 1919 Socialist Party magazine, The Messenger.

Seattle’s Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative member of Seattle’s city council, has said she won’t seek re-election next year. A Seattle Times columnist, generally unsympathetic, opines: “Her strongest legacies are that she upset Seattle’s comfortable liberalism, and called out the rich barons. She was so absolutist though that she ended up alienating even her allies.” There are links in the column to some more sympathetic accounts of Sawant’s time on the council.

“The decades-long decline of unionized labor, as the EPI’s analysis concludes, has thus not occurred because workers don’t want to join unions, but rather because the design of current labor law is prohibitive to forming them even when the appetite for doing so is strong.” Luke Savage’s piece in Jacobin fingers the dozens of apparently minor barriers that add up to big frustrations for the millions of workers who favor a union. Tipped by our comrade Dave R via Portside.

Atlanta police killed Manuel Esteban Paez Terán last week, one of many “forest defenders” protesting the construction of a $90 million “cop city” in Atlanta which would destroy large swaths of the Atlanta forest – a crucial buffer against climate change. The Guardian reports: “Officials say Manuel shot first at a state trooper ‘without warning’ and an officer or officers returned fire, but they have produced no evidence for the claim. … Police raids on the forest intensified until 14 December, when a half-dozen ‘forest defenders’ were arrested and charged with ‘domestic terrorism’ under state law – another unprecedented development in US environmental activism, said Lauren Regan, founder of the Civil Liberties Defense Center.” More details on the increasingly nefarious tactics employed by the state against activists and community members – tactics which we can surely expect to spread across the US – are detailed in the article.

This WaPo article on the Biden administration’s major-ish move on housing costs cedes the administration too many excuses for dodging the demands of housing advocates, including the letter from Sen. Warren and Rep. Bowman. But it does frame out the scope of the housing problem well. The Homes Guarantee Campaign pushed by People’s Action is outlined in this account from Common Dreams’ Progressive Newswire. And here’s that Warren-Bowman letter.

Victor Navasky, the longtime editor and then publisher of The Nation, has died at 90. This NYT obit observes that he “introduced a droll sensibility that leavened the magazine’s sometimes too-earnest prose.”

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