March 17, 2023

Mar 17, 2022



  • Sign up and spread the word: Walking Tour of Plutocratic DC: Power and Capitalism on Saturday, March 18 at 1pm

  • MDC DSA General Body Meeting on Sunday, March 19th, 7 to 9pm

  • Metro DC DSA organizing two Free Brake Light Clinics on Saturday, March 25 — Canvassing & Mechanic Training this Sunday, March 19

Sign up and spread the word: Walking Tour of Plutocratic DC: Power and Capitalism on Saturday, March 18 at 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 (tomorrow)!

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, and 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.

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. It will also connect attendees with campaigns to democratize DC and its power grid led by MDC DSA and We Power DC.

MDC DSA General Body Meeting on Sunday, March 19th, 7 to 9pm

Our general body meetings convene all chapter members once monthly. Working groups, caucuses, committees and leadership provide key updates on campaigns and other activities. Members may also propose and vote on business. Members, potential members and supporters alike are welcome to attend. This event is open to both DSA members and supporters. Register here for the March general body meeting, which will include the second read (motivation and debate) on the amended Resolution to Support Efforts to Oppose the U.S. Blockade on Cuba and the General Body Meeting frequency bylaw amendment.

Metro DC DSA organizing two Free Brake Light Clinics on Saturday, March 25 — Canvassing & Mechanic Training this Sunday, March 19

On Saturday, March 25, Metro DC DSA is hosting two brake light clinics (after a successful one last fall) as a way to build community support for getting police out of traffic enforcement by having volunteers replace car brake lights for free. The clinics will be held from 11am to 4pm in Alexandria, VA and H St NE in DC. The process for fixing brake lights is simple, but will help in reducing community interactions with police and educate the community on legislation that we are interested in passing in DC in the near future. If you or someone you know would be interested in getting their brake light fixed at one of the clinics on March 25, please fill out a repair request form for the DC or Alexandria clinic.

Want to help out? This weekend, on Sunday, March 19, the DC clinic will be hosting a training and canvass to build awareness of the DC clinic and issue mechanical training. Socialist mechanics will be teaching the brake light repair process from 1 to 2pm, then join a canvass of the H St and Trinidad neighborhoods until 5pm to promote the clinic to residents. The working group will meet in the parking lot of the AutoZone at 1207 H ST NE. Join the effort by signing up using this form.


Socialist Night School: Seize the Means of Consumption: A Harm Reductionist Fight for Drug Decriminalization — next Wednesday, March 22 at 6:30pm

On Wednesday, March 22, come learn about the War on Drugs, as well as the socialist arguments for why we need to decriminalize drugs and invest in a harm reduction approach to supporting the health and wellness of people who use them! Join in person or online from 6:30 to 8pm for Socialist Night School: Seize the Means of Consumption! A Harm Reductionist Fight for Drug Decriminalization. Advocates and people with lived experience from the organizations HIPS and #DecrimPovertyDC will lead attendees through a harm reduction 101 presentation, a conversation debunking myths about drug use and prohibition and a Q&A session.

This hybrid event is open to both DSA members and supporters. The in-person event will be at Washington Community Fellowship. Those who wish to attend virtually can RSVP and will be provided with a Zoom link on the next page, under “Instructions From Your Host.”

Montgomery County Rent Stabilization Hearing Scheduled for March 28 — join Montgomery County DSA to Draft Testimony this Sunday, March 19

Earlier this month, members of the Montgomery County Council introduced the HOME Act, which would limit rent increases to 3% annually (or the Voluntary Rent Guideline, whichever is lower). Montgomery County DSA and the HOME Act Coalition are encouraging all supporters of rent stabilization to submit testimony in support of the bill before the hearing on March 28. Meanwhile, conservative members of the County Council are backing a competing measure, modeled after a developer proposal, that codifies rent increases of over 15%. Landlords and developers are expected to testify against meaningful rent stabilization and we need to show that the HOME Act has the support of the people!

Join the Montgomery County DSA branch meeting this Sunday to workshop written testimony together! The meeting will be at the Twinbrook Library at 2pm. RSVP here.

We will also be attending the bill hearings together, with the main hearing starting at 6:30pm on Tuesday, March 28. For more information, RSVP here.


Climate Action in DC on Tuesday, March 21 — Stop the Money Pipeline

Big banks and Big Oil collaborate lavishly behind the curtain while the Fossil Power propaganda machine continues to greenwash their collusion. So, joining the youth outrage against climate foot-dragging, Third Act elders in rocking chairs will lead a First Day of Spring campaign to stop big banks from financing dirty energy. They will block entrances to DC branches of four of the nation’s biggest banks on a National Day of Action against financial institutions that continue to fund fossil fuel industries. Since the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 through 2021, financing from these four dirtiest banks — Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citi — has enabled oil and gas extraction to the tune of $1.17 trillion. Register or donate here!

To begin a day of multiple actions, which the MDC DSA SC endorsed this week, activists will gather the morning of Tuesday, March 21 at the southeast corner of Franklin Park (13th and Eye St NW) and will visit the offices of the four big banks south of the park during a Walk of Hope and a March of Action. The event will culminate in the afternoon in a Rocking Chair Rebellion at the intersection of 14th and New York Ave. NW. More information about Stop the Money Pipeline and its campaigns are here and here.


MDC DSA Steering Committee submits testimony to DC Council in support of drug decriminalization and police budget drawdowns

On Thursday, March 9, the chapter’s Steering Committee submitted testimony drafted by the Defund MPD Working Group to the DC Council’s Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety in response to the Committee’s 2/23/23 hearing on MPD Performance Oversight. Our testimony focuses on three priority issues: (1) decriminalizing personal possession of drugs, consistent with the DecrimPoverty DC Coalition’s Drug Policy Reform Act; (2) removing police from traffic enforcement, consistent with the Police Out of Transportation Coalition’s Traffic Safety Enforcement Act; and (3) reallocating funding from police to other District programs that actually keep us safe.

Meanwhile …

DC Police Union begins crusade against reform efforts passed in DC following wake of Floyd Uprisings

The Washington Post’sEarly 202” newsletter reported Tuesday: “The D.C. Police Union turned to two lobbyists to help persuade Congress to overturn changes to the District’s criminal code, according to a newly filed disclosure.

“Joseph Cameron, a former California police officer, and Hugh Cameron, a former International Union of Police Associations official, started lobbying [as “Modern Cartographers LLC”] for the union last month, two days after Republicans introduced legislation to undo the District’s new criminal code according to the disclosure. The lobbyists met with dozens of lawmakers in both parties in an effort to convince them to back the Republican bill, according to the firm’s chief operating officer. 

“The legislation passed the Senate on an 81-to-14 vote last week after Biden said he would sign it, reversing his administration’s previous opposition to the measure.”

Metro DC DSA’s Spring Recruitment and Recommitment Drive Is Over!

Last month, the Steering Committee — through our Membership Engagement Committee — launched a Recruitment and Recommitment Drive with the intention of increasing our membership numbers ahead of the March 1 national delegate apportionment deadline for the DSA National Convention. As part of that effort, we offered members a free hat from our merchandise store if they were able to recruit three new members into our chapter. Hats off to our members who participated, bringing in 19 new memberships into Metro DC DSA! If you are someone who recruited three of those members, please reach out to the Steering Committee so that we can get you your free hat!

National DSA will soon be issuing the final delegate apportionments for chapters ahead of the National Convention — to be held August 4th-6th in Chicago, IL — so please stay tuned for more information about how you can attend and represent our chapter!

Stitching Palestine Screening with DSA BDS and Palestine Solidarity Working Group — Saturday, March 18 at 1pm

The national DSA BDS & Palestine Solidarity Working Group invites you to register for the upcoming online screening and panel discussion of the film Stitching Palestine on Saturday, March 18th at 1pm ET/10am PT as a featured event for Israeli Apartheid Week 2023. This feature length documentary centers 12 Palestinian women who will talk of their lives before the Diaspora, of their memories and of their identities — all of which are connected by the enduring thread of the ancient art of tatreez (embroidery). The discussion will follow the film and will be joined by activist and actor Huda al Imam who is featured in the film. Register here.


Publications schedule: The last March Update goes out Friday the 24th, and the April issue of the Washington Socialist will accompany the March 31st Update, and has an article deadline of March 26. Send articles to and access any current or past Update anytime here

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, but please don’t wait till the last minute.



Wheatpasting 101 | DC Dyke March

The DC Dyke March will be hosting a Wheatpasting 101 and DC Dyke March informational event on Sunday, March 19 at 1pm. It will be held outdoors in the northwest corner of Malcolm X Park nearest Euclid & 16th. There will also be a bar mingle afterwards at 3pm. Questions can be directed to

Advancing a Vision for Housing Justice in Shaw | Empower DC

Empower DC is joining our friends at the Justice and Witness Action Network and ONE DC to discuss the redevelopment of the Lincoln Westmoreland affordable housing community and efforts to prevent resident displacement! Come learn more about the threats facing this Shaw neighborhood housing community that was born out of grassroots anti-displacement organizing efforts of the 1970s. The event will be both in person at Plymouth Congregational Church, 5301 North Capitol St, and through Zoom on Saturday, March 18th from 3 to 5pm.


Need a genial debunking of the GOP’s foam-flecked denunciations of “socialism” for your DSA-curious friends? In this Politico column, Jeff Greenfield gives Joe Biden a little more credit for FDR-ish vision than he merits, but goes over the well-trod ground: “It turns out that, with a little more modest ambitions, “socialism” has found a home of sorts in this land of individual freedom — as long as you call it something else.”

Also in Politico, Matthew Bruenig of the People’s Policy Project makes the case that 401(k)s are far more deserving of a spot on the chopping block than the more frequently discussed cuts to Social Security, writing: “DBs, DCs and IRAs are overwhelmingly skewed toward the rich, while Social Security is more heavily relied upon by low-wage workers. Low-wage workers are less likely to work for an employer that offers a pension and have far less surplus income to put toward a 401(k) plan or an IRA.”

Our DSA-adjacent comrade James Livingston has a review essay in Project Syndicate on the “transition question — our very own transition question, which is pretty simple: How do we get from capitalism to socialism without a [mass-death] revolution?” The review encompasses Martin Wolf’s new book, “The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism.” 

The Inflation Reduction Act — not ambitious enough, but still the United States’ largest-ever piece of climate legislation — was predictably maligned by the right. However, Mother Jones reports, “Republican-headed states have claimed the lion’s share of new renewable energy and electric vehicle activity since the legislation, with Republican-held congressional districts hosting more than 80 percent of all utility-scale wind or solar farms and battery projects currently in advanced development.”

And to add to the earmark-grabbing fun, Streetsblog reports on a little-known cave by Biden and the Federal Highway Administration that turns states loose to build new highways rather than be nudged to fix their bad roads first. Guess which states are doing that?

This Tuesday, March 14 marked the 140th anniversary of Karl Marx’s death. Here is his graveside eulogy as delivered March 17, 1883 by Friedrich Engels, reprinted by Jacobin.

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