March 3, 2023

March 3, 2023



  • Rent Control fight in Montgomery County reaches critical stage

  • Votes for amendment to Metro DC DSA chapter resolution due Saturday, March 4

  • Sign Up: Walking Tour of Plutocratic DC: Power and Capitalism — Saturday, March 18, 1pm

Rent Control fight in Montgomery County reaches critical stage

Following the victory in Prince George’s County, Maryland housing justice organizers are turning their attention to passing permanent rent stabilization in Montgomery County. This upcoming week will be a turning point in rent stabilization efforts so far. Organizers expect members of the County Council to introduce two bills on Tuesday: one is modeled after a developer proposal and would allow rent increases of up to 15%, while the other would provide real rent stabilization, capping increases at 3%, and is supported by major unions and community organizations, including Montgomery County DSA.

There are are several opportunities to get involved in rent stabilization, starting tomorrow, Saturday, March 4:

  1. The Montgomery County rent stabilization coalition is seeking to compile at least 100 stories from renters about the impacts of rent increases on their lives; the coalition will use these stories when talking to the media about why we need rent stabilization. The stories will also be submitted as part of the bill package for the final rent stabilization bill. If you’re a renter in Montgomery County, share your story here.
  2. The coalition is calling on supporters of tenant rights and affordable housing to pack a County Council session on the morning of Tuesday, March 7, and join a rally and press conference afterwards. We will express our disapproval of the decoy bill and support the real rent stabilization bill! RSVP here.
  3. Sunrise Silver Spring is hosting a rent stabilization town hall this Saturday, March 4 (tomorrow!) at noon at Montgomery Blair High School. Multiple councilmembers will be in attendance, and we want a big crowd to show that rent stabilization has the support of the people! RSVP here.
  4. Montgomery County DSA and partners are holding a rent stabilization canvass in Aspen Hill on Sunday, March 5 at noon! We will be talking to tenants about what real rent stabilization would mean for them. RSVP here.

Votes for amendment to Metro DC DSA chapter resolution due Saturday, March 4

On Tuesday, February 28, MDC DSA members in good standing were emailed an OpaVote ballot regarding Amendment to Resolution 2023-02-GR6A1: Support Efforts to Oppose the U.S. Blockade on Cuba. If you did not receive this ballot by email, and believe you should have, please make sure to check your spam folder and search your inbox for Otherwise, please contact as soon as possible. Ballots are due 11:59pm tomorrow, Saturday, March 4. This vote is on whether to add the amendment to the main resolution, which will be voted on later; the original resolution is linked in the ballot as well.

Sign Up: Walking Tour of Plutocratic DC: Power and Capitalism — Saturday, March 18, 1pm

Sign up and invite your friends, coworkers, family and comrades to 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. 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 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 is an outdoor event visiting 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, 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 volunteer.


Rent stabilization legislation passes in PG County

Excerpts from the Council majority website account: On Tuesday, February 28, the Prince George’s County Council voted to support CB-007-2023, legislation establishing the Rent Stabilization Act of 2023. The measure temporarily amends the Landlord-Tenant Code to limit landlords’ ability to increase tenants’ rent more than 3% over a 12-month period. 

Councilmember Krystal Oriadha (Dist. 7) proposed CB-007-2023 to temporarily stop excessive rent increases and help residents stay in their homes. Under the measure, a landlord cannot increase rent above 3% for any tenant and cannot issue a notice of rent increase over 3% during the twelve months of the Rent Stabilization Act. Additionally, CB-7-2023 excludes affordable housing units with federal, state, or local subsidies and dwelling units that received an occupancy permit in the last five years. 

“This bill is an opportunity for us to say loud and clear that renters matter. For too long the message has been that they don’t. Residents are suffering because of rent increases, and rent stabilization creates stability,” Oriadha told a large audience in the Council chambers. “We want Prince Georgians to have access to affordable, habitable and fair housing, and this bill gets us closer to that goal.”

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, during a press conference prior to the vote, stated her support for CB-7 and thanked the Council for addressing the needs of distressed renters. [As the WaPo account fills in, there was a battle with developer-friendly Councilmember Mel Franklin (at-large), whose counterproposal favored landlords but even lost its own co-sponsors in the 9-1 vote for CB-7.]

A working group to study permanent rent control in Prince George’s County will be established in tandem with the measure to identify permanent solutions for effectively addressing the rising cost of rent in the County.

Striking tenants, Stomp Out Slumlords sound the alarm on inhumane conditions in Brightwood Park

DCist spotlighted striking tenants and Stomp Out Slumlords organizers in a recent article on the mid-February rally against Khan Properties in Brightwood Park. “At least 35 families at 1355 Peabody St. NW — more than 60 percent of the building — are now withholding their rent from the company to protest what they call inhumane living conditions, Paige Dennis, an organizer with the tenant group Stomp Out Slumlords estimates. … Tenants at 1355 Peabody tell DCist/WAMU that while poor housing conditions have persisted for years, the treatment they faced at the hands of their building’s property manager and owners throughout the pandemic precipitated a reckoning among them.”


Final Chance to Participate in Chapter-wide Feedback Survey

The Administrative Committee is looking to better understand how members experience being a part of the chapter, so that together we can improve MDC DSA’s capacity and camaraderie. Tell us what you like, what needs to be improved, and how we can better achieve our objectives in this 10-minute survey.


National DSA Mobilizations: Abolition and GND

Tuesday, March 7 | 8pm We Protect Us: Responding to Police Violence: Join the DSA National Abolition Working Group for a mass call on responding to police violence on Tuesday, March 7 at 8pm ET. Police in the U.S. killed at least 1,176 people in 2022 and have harmed and harassed more people than will ever be counted. More at link

Thursday, March 9 | 8pm Green New Deal Campaign Phase 2: Over the past two years, Congress has passed the American Rescue Plan Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which allocate billions to state and city governments to be spent on infrastructure improvements, mostly in the areas of energy, transportation, and parks and recreation. How should this money be spent? More at link

Check out past Socialist Night School recordings on YouTube

The Metro DC DSA Socialist Night School is a series of sessions that explore basic ideas, concepts, historical and current events related to socialism. While everyone is welcome, these sessions are especially designed for those newer to socialism, to DSA, and to the topics covered. During the past few months, the Socialist Night School has organized a number of events including on topics such as the elections in Brazil, how to navigate student loan forgiveness, effects of the de-industrialization of Pittsburgh, the unheralded activists of the Black Power movement and our very latest session on the demand to decriminalize sex work. We invite you to check out recordings of all these events on the chapter’s YouTube channel. There, you will find also a recording of our most recent walking tour in September plus a webinar on how to organize your own political education walking tour.


Publications schedule: March Updates will drop Fridays, the 10th, 17th and 24th and the April issue of the Washington Socialist will accompany the March 31 Update. Access any current or past Update anytime here

Join our monthly Publications WG planning meeting Saturday, March 11, at 3pm to make socialist comms happen for MDC DSA and the DMV Left.

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.

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.



Holi at Union Market | Union Market

Celebrate the Colors of Holi at Union Market on Wednesday, March 8! Holi is celebrated throughout most of India and is a traditional festival that brings family and friends together to celebrate color, spring and love. This event is hosted in partnership with DC Dosa, Suburbia DC and Rasa, and will include a celebration of all things Holi with colored powder, great music, a henna artist, food and cocktails. This is a free event, but registration is requested.

Free Plants! | Lederer Gardens/DC Parks and Recreation

DC’s largest community farm, Lederer Gardens (4801 Nannie Helen Burroughs NE) has a huge stock of cold-hardy ornamentals available – for free! These plants were donated from the US Botanical Garden’s train exhibit and now need new homes. There is a large variety of plant types and sizes, even including small trees! Visitors must come during farm hours to pick up the plants, which are typically Wednesday-Saturday, 10am – 2pm. The farm is not open this week, but will resume hours after March 4. Email for more information and/or to sign up to volunteer at any DPR urban farm!

Spring Cohort Recruiting | Sunrise Movement DC

Do you dream of a future where all people are truly safe and free? Do you want to be in a joyful community and work together to create a future where this planet and all life on it can thrive? Sunrise DC believes that the climate crisis we are facing invites us to commit to the long-term work of abolishing all systems of oppression. Together with local partners, Sunrise takes direct action, practices mutual aid, nurtures our community and grows political power. Orientation is March 15 — sign up here.


In The Guardian, labor journalist Steven Greenhouse describes systematicOld-School Union Busting’: How US Corporations Are Quashing the New Wave of Organizing: US corporations have mounted a fierce counterattack against the union drives at Starbucks, Amazon and other companies. And in the widening Wild West of the gig economy, companies try to undo labor protections state by state using that foot in the door — as our allies at the Economic Policy Institute detail here. Both articles are via Portside.

More about labor, including internal conflicts: In a review of two books, Steve Early recounts the battles between unions over jurisdiction and the virtues and perils of cross-crafting for unions. For instance, the ILWU longshore workers, whose leadership’s “‘singular focus on the waterfront terminal’ has kept Longshore Division members from shaking ‘off the limitations of craft unionism in order to wield their great economic power to transform conditions for workers further down the supply chain in trucking, warehousing and retail.’’’ Divisions among both industrial and craft unions, defending their turf with resulting lack of solidarity, hampers “creating a single ‘Transport and General Workers Union,’ of the sort which exists in the U.K. and other countries.” That makes them easy pickings for the union-busting tactics described in Greenhouse’s article, above. From Popular Resistance.

Bernie Sanders is right about capitalism” — no surprise to see this in one of the usual leftie outlets — but CNN? Wooo. Best insight here is how we in the US normalize the way our work (or not) makes our lives miserable 24/7. Touted in the North Star caucus listserv.

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