Feb 10, 2023

Feb 10, 2023



  • Battle for Rent Control continues in Montgomery County – Rent stabilization canvassing this Saturday, February 11, 11:30am

  • Join the Chapter’s new Training Department – applications due by Monday, February 13

  • Rally for rent striking tenants in Brightwood – Come show your support next Saturday, February 18, 1pm

Battle for Rent Control continues in Montgomery County – Rent stabilization canvassing this Saturday, February 11, 11:30am

Over the past few months, an alliance of socialists, tenants and housing advocates have been marching across Montgomery County to build popular support for an expansion of rent control in the county. Organized canvasses are succeeding: CM Kate Stewart spoke directly with several tenants during the canvass in downtown Silver Spring, and others have contributed hundreds of letters to the Council in support of the proposal. Now it’s time to keep the pressure on!

This week, commercial real estate trade publication Bisnow wrote that the growing movement for rent stabilization in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties has developers worried about their profits at existing properties. Now is the time to strike.

Tomorrow, Saturday, February 11th, a key member of the county council will join the Montgomery County Racial Equity Network Coalition and Montgomery County DSA for a canvass at 11:30am in Gaithersburg. A big crowd is needed so that the Montgomery County Council knows that rent stabilization has the support of the people – RSVP to attend here. Canvass organizers will be coordinating rides for anyone who RSVPs via the form.

Join the Chapter’s new Training Department – applications due by Monday, February 13

The Training Department is a Metro DC DSA chapter formation that will build the capacity of Chapter membership through organizer trainings and other training sessions throughout the year. They will hold trainings that apply across Chapter formations, increase the skills of Chapter members and engage members. All members are invited to join this essential chapter formation!

You can serve as either a Steward or as an Affiliated Member – 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 as they can. Regardless of your level of involvement, we’d love your help defining this new part of the Chapter. Apply here!

If you’d like to learn more about the Training Department’s work or if you have any questions or comments, please email Taylor W at woodswt@gmail.com or make a note as you fill out the application.

Rally for rent striking tenants in Brightwood – Come show your support next Saturday, February 18, 1pm

Tenants at buildings owned by notorious slumlords Khan Properties 16th St Heights have been rent striking for months to demand fixes to the numerous and longstanding issues in their buildings, including mice and cockroach infestations, poor maintenance, broken AC, leaks, mold and a lack of security, among many others. Tenants across four Khan buildings have been battling management, some for years – and while they’ve won battles, the slum conditions continue. Now the tenants are facing retaliatory eviction notices from management rather than fixes for their units.

Come show your support and help tenants fight back against their landlord! If you’ve always wanted to see what radical tenant struggles look like, Stomp Out Slumlords is holding a rally at 1355 Peabody Street NW next Saturday, Feb. 18th at 1pm to put pressure on management to stop retaliating, fix the buildings and do right by tenants. Councilmember Janeese Lewis George will be there to meet with tenants and tour the building. 

For more details and questions, email tenants@mdcdsa.org.



Important survey for Metro DC DSA members on chapter operations

The Metro DC DSA Administrative Committee is launching its Chapter Membership Survey — all DSA members are encouraged to complete this survey. Completion of this survey by chapter members will help administrative working groups in the chapter improve and build our chapter’s organizational and tech tools.

The survey takes no longer than 10 minutes to complete and results will be made public so that chapter members, leaders and working groups will know how and where to improve in the future. Responses are 100% anonymous, and will not be linked back to you in any way. Find the link to the Chapter Membership Survey here.

McPherson Square violent encampment evictions to begin next week

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.

Next Socialist Night School: Sex Work Decriminalization – Thursday, February 23, 6:30 8:00 pm

You’re invited to the next Socialist Night School, happening both in-person and online from 6:30-8pm on Thursday, February 23rd! Focusing on on sex work decriminalization, you’ll hear first-hand from sex workers and HIPS – a local harm reduction services, advocacy and community engagement group – on why decriminalizing sex work is a socialist issue. The event is being held in-person near Dupont Circle and through Zoom. Signups will be available through the Socialist Night School page or events page shortly…


FRESHFARM Votes to Unionize

Encouraging local labor news – the workers at DC-based FRESHFARM have voted to unionize with UFCW Local 400! The newly unionized workforce covers approximately 25 employees responsible for staffing and operating 28 local farmers markets in DC, Maryland and Virginia.


RSVP for the February General Body Meeting – Sunday, Feb. 26

Metro DC DSA’s February General Body Meeting is scheduled this month on Sunday, February 26, 7 – 9pm to leapfrog the three-day weekend. Sign up now.

Walking Tour of Plutocratic DC: Power and Capitalism – Saturday, March 18, 1pm – sign up now!

Signups are now open for the Plutocratic DC: Power and Capitalism Walking Tour, starting at 1pm on Saturday, March 18th! The Walking Tour will explore how institutions such as the Carlyle Group, Pepco and City Center DC create and maintain extreme wealth in the District – and how they reshape DC’s skyline and public spaces to make the city safe for capitalism. The Walking Tour will be led by Metro DC DSA Chapter members, who will use original research on private equity, public utilities and luxury real estate in DC to document how these entities exploit rentier capitalism and political connections to earn money at the expense of the 99%. The Walking Tour will explore what your electric bill, Taylor Swift’s original recordings and luxury handbag stores have in common – and how to take power back from our local plutocrats. The tour will connect attendees with campaigns to democratize DC and its power grid led by MDC DSA and We Power DC.

The tour will visit three sites in downtown DC after meeting at The Park at City Center (1098 New York Ave. NW) at 1pm. The tour will adjourn at 2:45pm at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW after just under a mile of walking, then will be followed by an optional outdoor happy hour at the Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. We will provide snacks and water on the tour, and public bathrooms are available along the route. Make sure to sign up in advance if you may attend to get day-of notices around weather and to indicate your ability to volunteer.


Rally for Brazil’s President Lula – Today, February 10, 2:15pm

The MDC Internationalism WG invites comrades and friends to join Brazilians and allies TODAY (Friday, February 10) to welcome Brazil’s President Lula da Silva to the United States as he meets with President Joe Biden in the White House. Rally 2:15pm at 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue NW as we show our support for a country that chose democracy over growing extremist rhetoric. They also welcome President Lula’s push for peace in Ukraine. The activists are joined by members of the Defend Democracy in Brazil Committee from New York and Florida, CODEPINK, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the ANSWER coalition, Claudia Jones School for Political Education, the Brazilian Popular Struggle Committee from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, individuals, local union leaders and students. More on the event at #internationalism


Publications schedule: February Updates will be sent on Fridays the 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.

About MDC DSA: The local chapter’s website is here. There is a rich array 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 meeting minutes as well as 2022 General Body Meetings and our chapter leadership’s statements on events past and present.

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.


Saturday, February 11

11:30am | Rent Stabilization Canvass

Wednesday, February 15

5 6pm | DecrimPovertyDC Full Coalition Monthly Meeting: Zoom

 78:30pm | Reproductive Justice Working Group Meeting (join from #repro-justice)

8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation

Thursday, February 16

6:308:30pm | Social Meetup – NoVa Branch DSA

Saturday, February 18

1 – 3pm | Rally for Rent Striking Tenants in Brightwood

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)

7 – 9pm | MDC DSA February General Body Meeting


McPherson Square Fundraiser | Ward 2 Mutual Aid, Food Not Bombs DC, et al.

The National Parks Service will be evicting over 70 unhoused people on Feb. 15 – weeks earlier than initially announced. Help DC homeless advocates raise money for replacement supplies, snacks, moving trucks and equipment by supporting their fundraising campaign here. Feed the People Mutual Aid DC, an organization that provides weekly mutual aid exchanges in Dupont Circle, is also anticipating an increased need for supplies in light of the impending McPherson Square sweeps. Tents, tarps, warm weather clothing and masks are particularly needed.

Looking for Volunteers | Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid

Interested in volunteering in your community? Got a passion for organizing? Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid are looking for some volunteers! Learn more and sign up here.

Community Winter Work Day | Wangari Gardens

Join the Wangari Gardens (Kenyon St NW at Park Place NW) community on Saturday, February 11 for a winter work day from 9am – 12:30pm! The work day will be co-led by Casey Trees, who are assisting Wangari in caring for the garden’s young trees, and will also include weeding and other light work. Snacks and tools will be provided!

Deadline Extended, Youth Entrepreneurship Cooperative | City Blossoms 

City Blossoms has extended the deadline to apply for their Youth Entrepreneurship Cooperative and Resources & Trainings Fellowships! Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the new deadline to apply is Sunday, February 12 at 11:59pm. City Blossoms fellowships are designed to support the professional development of young leaders interested in community and youth engagement, nonprofit management, outdoor education and environmental and food justice.


The NYT columnist Jamelle Bouie’s newsletter digs into the construction of race as it has varied through history in response to material conditions. Includes look-backs and links to two columns that hit hard, including one that baldly stated “the institution of American policing lies outside any meaningful democratic control.”

In the Brooklyn Rail, Nick Chavez provides a long, imaginative examination of — among many other things — what a communist system of production might look like. 

The Meaning of African American Studies: The discipline emerged from Black struggle. Now the College Board wants it to be taught with barely any mention of Black Lives Matter.

Railroads Must Be Brought Under Public Ownership: Railroads are, like utilities, “natural monopolies.”

Sociologist Heather Gautney writes consciously in the tradition of C. Wright Mills’s 1956 The Power Elite and traces the evolution of conscious elite manipulation of events: “…a feature of neoliberalism is that it poses as ahistorical. It hides its tracks. It presents capitalism as the best possible system while degrading other systems. So for me, it’s really important to show that the political and social inequalities that we have today are by design. They didn’t happen by accident.” She is interviewed in TruthOut about her new book, The New Power Elite

In The Nation, John Nichols has a history-tinged followup to the GOP’s “horrors of socialism” resolution that roped in many House Dems last week. “For all its ominous language, however, the resolution was nothing more than a political ploy. It was a legislative stunt, designed to force Democrats to vote against an ideology that is well-regarded by millions of grassroots Democrats and independent voters—and around 15 percent of Republicans, according to recent polling.”

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