Feb 3, 2023

Feb 3, 2023



  • Rent Stabilization Canvass in White Oak, Silver Spring — Tomorrow, Saturday, February 4

  • New Chapter Training Department: Information Session Monday, February 6 — application/interest form now open

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

Rent Stabilization Canvass in White Oak, Silver Spring — Tomorrow, Saturday, February 4

The momentum for rent stabilization in Montgomery County continues to grow! In late January, over 40 volunteers turned up to join a DSA-led canvass in support of rent stabilization, resulting in close to 200 (and growing) letters to the Montgomery County Council in support of rent stabilization and over a half dozen video testimonies from tenants. The Montgomery County Racial Equity Network coalition, which includes the Montgomery County branch, also rallied outside the County Council Building in Rockville supporting rent stabilization, drawing a crowd of more than 100 at midday on a weekday.

DSA and allies will be canvassing tenants to build support for rent stabilization again this Saturday, February 4 at 11am. The canvass will be centered on the Yorkshire Apartments in White Oak, Silver Spring, where tenants have reported some of the highest rent increases in the county. Please join us to keep the momentum up! More information and RSVP here.

New Chapter Training Department: Information Session Monday, February 6 — application/interest form now open

You’re invited to apply to be a member of the new Chapter Training Department! The Training Department is a formation that will build the capacity of Chapter membership through organizer trainings and other training sessions throughout the year. The Training Department will hold trainings that apply across Chapter formations, increase the skills of Chapter members and engage Metro DC DSA members. In 2023, the Department needs people to serve as Stewards and as Affiliated Members. The three elected Stewards will guide the direction of Chapter training and take responsibility for several events a year, while Affiliated Members will assist with feedback, administration and training coordination. Apply here!

If you’d like to learn more about the Training Department’s work and positions within it, join our upcoming information session! The information session will be held virtually at 7pm on Monday, February 6th. To attend the information session, please email Taylor W at woodswt@gmail.com for the calendar invite, fill out the application, or click this link at the meeting time. Following the information session, applications are due at 11:59pm on Monday, February 13th. Applications consist of roughly three paragraphs on your experience, why you want to join, and what trainings you’d like to see in 2023 …

Sign up for 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. The book covers the personal and social elements of being in the freedom movement for generations. 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 at the Bol Coop or watch the virtual stream, sign up now!


Last Call: Sign up for Spring 2023 Chapter Reading Groups by Sunday, February 5!

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!

MDC Youth DSA Update

MDC YDSA chapters have returned to school from Winter Holiday and are putting in work! We will highlight one school each month in upcoming Updates. 

American University is holding a series of events this month, titled “KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.” Their first event, which focused on tenant rights, was held this week, with excellent turnout — including MDC DSA members. Upcoming KNOW YOUR RIGHTS events will focus on workers’ rights, reproductive rights and labor organization. 

MDC YDSA groups have an upcoming National Winter Conference in Chicago. (It is more of a “spring conference,” as it is in April.) Please consider sponsoring a YDSA chapter with a donation. Donation links below:

Please contact @Meenak on Slack with any questions!


Labor Working Group Hybrid General Meeting — Tuesday, February 7, 7pm

All Chapter members are invited to attend the first post-pandemic in-person (hybrid) Labor Working Group meeting, this Tuesday, 7pm, at the offices of KCNF, 818 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1000, Washington DC (near Farragut Square). The meeting will include updates and opportunities for participation in the ATU strike in Loudoun Co., other worker organizing and strike support, collective bargaining rights for University of Maryland grad students, Initiative 82 debrief, Emergency Worker Organizing Committee volunteer opportunity, affiliation reports from DC Labor and DC Jobs with Justice and internal organizing. Find the agenda and RSVP instructions here.


Montgomery County Branch to Hold Branch Elections in February

The Montgomery County Branch will hold an election for the Branch Steering Committee the week of February 26th, 2023. Members are elected at-large across the entire county. The election will be conducted by an OpaVote electronic ballot. A strong steering committee will have a variety of experiences inside and outside of DSA. All members, including newer members, are encouraged to run. Any member in good standing of Metro DC DSA who lives, works, or studies in Montgomery County and is not affiliated with any other Branch can run for the Steering Committee. If you would like to learn more about the steering committee before deciding to run, please join our current leadership team for an interest meeting for potential candidates this Monday, February 6th at 7pm. Current steering members will discuss their experiences and host a Q and A for interested candidates. RSVP for the interest meeting here.

Rally to Support Defenders of Wildlife Unionization Efforts

The National Labor Relations Board has issued multiple complaints against Defenders of Wildlife, including illegally firing a labor organizer and negotiating in bad faith. After a year of bargaining, no progress between workers and management has been made. These complaints will go to trial next week, and workers are holding rallies in support of their unionization efforts. Join them in support from February 6 to 8 between 8:15 to 8:45am at 1130 17th Street NW.

McPherson Square Camp Evictions to Begin Early

The new date for the eviction of the encampment of homeless neighbors who call McPherson Square home is now scheduled to be February 15th, two weeks earlier than initially stated by the National Park Service (NPS). This eviction takes place when DC is still in hypothermia season and, once evicted, camp residents have no guarantee of immediate housing or services. Advocacy organizations from across the District are requesting action to help stop these cruel evictions. Call or email NPS Superintendent of the National Mall & Memorial Parks Jeff Reinbold at 202-245-4661, jeff_reinbold@nps.gov.

Bill to Decriminalize Street Vending Re-Introduced in DC Council

This week, Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau and Chairman Phil Mendelson re-introduced the Street Vendor Advancement Amendment Act of 2023, to accelerate the decriminalization of street vending and make it easier for street vendors to run a successful business in the District. This legislation consolidates two bills Nadeau had introduced in the previous legislative session. If passed, DC would become the third major city in the US to reform its vendor licensing regulations, following New York City and Los Angeles.


About MDC DSA: The local chapter’s website is here. There is a rich load of info there for newer comrades who seek a campaign to embrace and for the DSA-curious to see how the campaigns interlock to dismantle capitalism and promote the socialist future. 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. 

Also, explore our deep and current history in the topic-organized archive of articles in the Washington Socialist including a documented history of our chapter since the 1980s, developed from our own publications.

We learn, and relearn, to apply our thought and action as socialists in new and archived sessions of  Socialist Night School. Check out also the range of our sponsored Reading Groups

An open and nonsectarian left organization like MDC DSA enables friends and foes to scan the most recently updated versions of the Steering Committee’s 2022 meetings as well as 2022 General Body Meetings and our chapter leadership’s statements on events past and present.

Publications schedule: This first February Update incorporates the monthly newsletter for this shortest month. Updates will be sent on Fridays the 10th, 17th and 24th, with the March issue of the Washington Socialist going out with the Friday, March 3rd Update. Articles for the March newsletter issue should be submitted by February 25 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.


Friday, February 3

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

Saturday, February 4

11am | MoCo Rent Stabilization Canvass (in person) 

Monday, February 6

8pm | MoCo Branch Steering Interest Meeting (virtual)

Wednesday, February 8

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

7:30 – 8:30pm | We Power DC Organizing Meeting (virtual)

Thursday, February 9

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

Thursday, February 23

6 – 8:30pm | MDC DSA Socialist Feminist Section Happy Hour  (in person)

Sunday, February 26

2 – 3:30pm | MoCo DSA February Branch Meeting  (hybrid)


Feed The People Mutual Aid DC | February 4, 3:30 to 5pm

FTP Mutual Aid DC continues their weekly mutual aid exchanges in Dupont Circle, and they are anticipating an increased need for supplies in light of the impending McPherson Square sweeps. Tents, tarps, warm weather clothing and masks are particularly needed. If you have the means, please consider donating to directly assist people in need.

Southeast Medical Clinic Now Accepting Patients | Bread for the City

Bread for the City, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive services to low-income DC residents, is now accepting new patients at their Southeast Medical Clinic (1700 Good Hope Road SE). Bread for the City’s Clinics provide primary care, dental, vision, behavioral health, examinations, medications, lab tests and more — regardless of ability to pay. Call 202-386-7020 for an appointment.

Plant Swap | DC Plant Swap

DC Plant Swap is back in regular business at their new home, Atlas Brew Works (2052 West Virginia Ave NE)! The plant swap will take place the first Sunday of every month, starting this Sunday, February 5 from 1 to 5pm. Bring plants and supplies to swap. Food and beverages will be available from the bar. There is no fee to participate.

Queer Pinball Tournament | Lyman’s Tavern

On February 25 at 12:30pm, DC’s home for all things pinball, Lyman’s Tavern (3720 14 St NW), will be hosting a Queer Pinball Tournament open to all LGBTQ+ identifying players and their allies. This tournament is beginner friendly, and the event will start with an introduction before actual play begins. Entry fee is just $1. This event is trans-positive, all-gender-inclusive and anti-racist. Transphobia, racism, homophobia, ableism, sexism, harassment or hatefulness of any kind will not be tolerated. Masking is strongly encouraged.


The new GOP majority in the House, led by Rep. Salazar of Florida, is after us for sure. By name: “denouncing the horrors of socialism.” House Rules met on it January 31 (starts at 10:40), giving us a flavor of what the GOP hegemony will be like. DSA is not included in the catechism of socialist horrors. Yet. 

As follow-up, Max Cohen reported in Punchbowl News Wednesday that “The New Democrat Coalition’s leadership team is trying to call House Republicans’ bluff on Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar’s (R-FL) resolution ‘denouncing the horrors of socialism.’ Here’s a [in our biased opinion, maximally craven] statement signed by all 10 members of the group’s leadership. Republicans are likely to slam any Democrats who won’t support the messaging resolution. New Dems’ approach is a look inside how center-left Democrats are approaching the vote, which may turn out to pass by a wide, bipartisan measure.” 

The New Democrat Coalition is a hidey-hole for endangered Dems. Our local members of the New Dem Coalition include David Trone and Glenn Ivey of MD and Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton of VA. The House voted 328-86 for the bill Thursday afternoon, including 109 Dems (plus+14 “present”) Among our locals, Ruppersburger, Ivey and Trone from MD and Spanberger and Wexton from VA voted for the bill. They sure called their bluff all right.

The Center for Biological Diversity, Energy and Policy Institute, and BailoutWatch published a report called Powerless in the United States. The report details how energy utilities, including Exelon (which owns DC’s utility Pepco and several of Maryland’s utilities) shut off power to families more than 5.7 million times since 2020 while raking in billions, and how only 1% of the dividends these companies paid to shareholders could have paid for every person’s energy debt.

In “Revealed: how US transition to electric cars threatens environmental havoc,” The Guardian reports that “by 2050 electric vehicles could require huge amounts of lithium for their batteries, causing damaging expansions of mining.” 

Not a problem, say some sci-fi geeks — we’ll just mine the asteroids for all that stuff. Also see Bastani, Fully Automated Luxury Communism.

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