April 7, 2023

April 7, 2023



  • DSA National Convention to take place in Chicago from August 4 to 6

  • Upcoming Stomp Out Slumlords mobilizations in DC — anti-eviction canvass this Saturday, April 8 at 1:30 pm

  • Testify to end police stops for minor traffic violations in Montgomery County — hearing on the STEP Act on April 25 at 7pm

DSA National Convention to take place in Chicago from August 4 to 6

This year’s DSA National Convention will convene in Chicago on August 4 to 6. DSA’s bi-annual convention is when delegates from around the country come together to vote on our organization’s priorities, debate resolutions, and elect our National Political Committee (NPC). Every DSA chapter will be sending delegates to the convention to represent their respective chapters: Metro DC DSA was apportioned 38 delegates and 4 alternates.

What does it mean to be a delegate? Delegates are the elected representatives of their chapters. Delegates are able to vote on amendments and resolutions, participate in floor debate, and go to trainings at the convention. To be a delegate, you must be a member in good standing (fully paid up and current on dues) to run. A nomination form and more instructions about how to run for delegate will come following the April 11 Steering Committee meeting.

What is the National Political Committee? The NPC is the executive board for the national organization between conventions and serves two-year terms. As per the 2021 Convention Rules, candidates must receive a nomination by resolution from their chapter in order to be eligible. Metro DC DSA will release a form for members to submit their names to run for NPC. Metro DC DSA members who volunteer to run will be submitted by resolution to our May General Body Meeting.

Similar to local convention, a channel on the Metro DC DSA’s internal communications tool (Slack) has been created: the #2023-national-convention MDC DSA Slack channel will host all conversations related to national convention, including discussion on resolution proposals, delegate elections, NPC elections, etc. Once Metro DC DSA elects a delegation to attend the convention, a separate Slack channel will be created for delegates to coordinate. 

More information will be released in future weekly updates as it is prepared by local members of Metro DC DSA, as well as on chapter internal communication tools (Slack).

Upcoming Stomp Out Slumlords mobilizations in DC — anti-eviction canvass this Saturday, April 8 at 1:30 pm

Stomp Out Slumlords, Metro DC DSA’s tenant organizing working group, is continuing to expand its regional network of tenants to defend each other against rapacious slumlords in the DMV. The expansion of an organized tenant base is a crucial requirement for larger action on rent control, social housing, and bringing an end to corporate control of housing.

This Saturday, April 8, Stomp Out Slumlords will be holding an anti-eviction canvass at 1:30pm. Organizers will talk to tenants facing eviction about their rights in court, procuring a lawyer, and building organizing. Tenants that speak to Stomp Out Slumlords organizers are twice as likely to go to court and fight their eviction, so every volunteer can make a big impact. SOS will meet at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station on the D street exit between 6th and 7th above the escalators. There will be a short training at the beginning and every volunteer will be set up with a partner. Register here to attend.

And on Thursday, April 13 at 10:30am, DC’s Office of the Attorney General will be holding a public hearing in its lawsuit against the owners of Marbury Plaza in Ward 8, whose tenants have been on rent strike for nearly three years in protest of the inhumane living conditions of the property. The tenants of Marbury Plaza are asking allies’ attendance to show support at this upcoming hearing, at the DC Superior Court (500 Indiana Ave NW, DC 20001, Courtroom 131). Sign up to attend and receive reminders at this form. If you can’t make it, but would still like to watch the hearing, you can fill out the form and the organizers will send notice to watch the hearing when the meeting link is sent out.

Testify to end police stops for minor traffic violations in Montgomery County — hearing on the STEP Act on April 25 at 7pm

The Silver Spring Justice Coalition (SSJC), which Montgomery County DSA participates in, is supporting the STEP Act, a bill that would prohibit Montgomery County police from stopping people for minor traffic violations and limit their ability to prolong stops by pressuring drivers to consent to searches of their cars. This bill is an important step towards reducing extreme race-based disparities in traffic enforcement in Montgomery County. A public hearing on the bill will be held at 7pm on April 25, 2023.  

If you’ve had a negative experience with a traffic stop, please consider sharing your story in one of three ways: 1) sign up here to testify (in person or via Zoom) on April 25th; 2) submit written testimony in support of the bill here; or 3) email silverspringjustice@gmail.com to share your story with and give SSJC and MoCo DSA permission to share it in our testimony or in public materials we create in support of the bill. You can read the full text of the bill here. SSJC will be proposing amendments to make the bill even stronger than it currently is (including requesting a prohibition on searches of cars based on the odor of cannabis) so please consider framing your position on the bill as “favorable with amendments.”  If you’d like to testify orally, please sign up ASAP. We will share talking points to assist you with your testimony soon (you do not need to submit anything in writing when you sign up to testify orally, you can submit your written testimony anytime before the hearing)!

The SSJC is also encouraging supporters to attend the County Council hearing, which starts at 7pm on April 25 in Rockville. RSVP here.


Washington Socialist is the monthly digital publication produced by members of the Metro DC DSA. This month, five new articles are added to our archive of socialist thought and analysis in the DMV. Access the April Issue now.

Metro DC DSA’s Testimony provided to DC’s 2023 MPD Performance Oversight Hearings
Testimony submitted by Metro DC DSA’s provides, with exhaustive research, guidance on how the DC government can build lasting public safety to DC’s working class: less cops, more care, and an expansion of the public good.

Cuts to Medicare Advantage, or Cogs in the Money Machine?
Insurance lobbyists are invoking images of the elderly and progressive-sounding rhetoric to justify the continued privatization of our health-care system.

Time to Fight Back Against Attacks on DC Home Rule
The fight for full democracy for DC will not reach conclusion until DC’s citizens and elected officials unite to bring it about, by any means necessary.

What is the future of energy policy? (ft. We Power DC’s Tom McBrien)
A conversation with a We Power DC organizer on what publicly owned utility would really look like. Heavy on detail, light on jargon, and who to fight.

Book Review: ‘The Big Con’ exposes the ravages of the consultant class
A new book by Mariana Mazzucato and Rosie Collington details how the consulting industry profits from (and helps to facilitate) the erosion of the public good and destroy good government. A note to comrades in the industry — it’s not too late, get out while you can!


Workers at Union Kitchen calling an emergency rally demanding reinstatement for fired worker — TODAY, April 7 at 2pm

Union Kitchen, just days after being ordered to pay back pay for wage theft, has fired a union leader at their convention center location. UFCW Local 400 will be having an emergency rally demanding reinstatement TODAY at 2pm 1251 9th St NW (convention center Metro).

Workers at the regional chain Union Kitchen have been organizing their workplace over the past year, successfully forming their union last July. Hostile management, stemming from Union Kitchen’s wealthy local owner Cullen Gilchrist, has been running through the anti-union playbook in order to frustrate these efforts. You can follow Union Kitchen workers’ efforts and find their social media handles on their linktree.

Local food production workers call for community support in contract negotiations with Compass DC

Workers at Compass DC, who prepare food for numerous universities and museums through the District, will be holding an action on Wednesday, April 12 from 4 to 6pm in front of the World Bank (1818 H Street, NW) to demand a wage increase as they fight for a new contract. Supporters — particularly workers and students at George Washington University, American University, Catholic University, Gallaudet University, the Smithsonian and the World Bank — are asked to sign UNITE HERE’s petition in support.


Maryland bill to allow health care access to undocumented residents appears to be failing

As the Maryland General Assembly draws to a close this Monday, the state Senate has choked on the House-passed bill allowing signups for health care regardless of immigration status, keeping over a quarter-million Marylanders from access to low-cost health care. Proponents said it would actually save the state’s hospitals much of the “$120 million to $150 million in uncompensated care for undocumented immigrants in 2022.” Instead, a common dodge — a study bill — may be passed. But hope persists; here is info and tools from CASA.

But some good news from the Assembly’s finishing kick: [MD Sierra Club release] “Environmental, business, and community groups Thursday celebrated the Assembly’s passage of the Clean Trucks Act of 2023 (HB 230/SB 224) [which] requires the Maryland Department of Environment to set requirements for vehicle manufacturers to sell an increasing annual percentage of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles — including electric trucks, delivery vans, and school buses — in the state beginning in Model Year 2027. “We are thrilled with the passage of the Clean Trucks Act of 2023,” said Maryland Sierra Club Director Josh Tulkin. “Transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in the state …”


PG County DSA holds in-person meeting on raising the MD minimum wage — PG residents encouraged to get involved

Meeting in person for the first time since Covid swept the land, ten members of Prince George’s DSA met at the New Deal Café on Saturday, April 1. Our discussion focused on the movement to raise Maryland’s minimum wage; specifically, indexing it to inflation rates and raising the tipped minimum wage. We also, briefly, touched on the struggle to give University of Maryland employees bargaining rights. Thereafter we touched on power-mapping, potential allies and how we can best reactivate our branch as part of a broader movement of working people in Prince George’s organizing for justice.

Our next meeting will be held Saturday, April 15 at the Greenbelt Public Library’s Small Conference Room (11 Crescent Road — not far from the town center) from 12:30 to 2pm. Apart from other topics we will explore if it is best to rotate in-person and Zoom meetings, do hybrid meetings or some other option. Email info@pgdsa.org or visit the #prince-georges-branch Slack channel for more info.

Get involved in chapter Political Education

The Political Education Working Group is assembling a great program of reading groups, walking tours, book exchanges and Socialist Night Schools the rest of 2023 — anyone interested in Political Education are invited to participate. Sign up here to join the mailing list and/or volunteer for the group. Facilitating political education requires a wide range of skills for its wide array of operations: facilitating outreach (e.g. fun wheatpasting outings), leadership (e.g. coordinating reading groups), put together social events and assist with the day-to-day tasks related to political education (e.g. greet the speaker and set up the meeting room before in-person Socialist Night Schools). Training is provided, and participation is a great way to meet comrades and build relationships with other chapter formations.

Kroger-Albertsons merger “a looming disaster” for shoppers, warns union

From Union City Wednesday: The proposed merger of Kroger and Albertsons (which owns Safeway) “is a looming disaster for everyone who buys groceries in America,” says UFCW Local 400, which has organized several local protests. “For our members who work in the grocery industry,” Local 400 adds, “this deal puts our livelihoods at risk.” If federal regulators approve this merger, consumers “will all have fewer choices of where to shop and what to buy, and prices of essential groceries will go up higher than they already are,” says the union. “In areas where these companies both operate, the merger will result in store closures and layoffs.”


MDC DSA is not mysterious. But there are many avenues to find out about our DMV-wide membership, what we do and what we have done. Here’s your GPS; no wrong turns here.

About MDC DSA: The local chapter’s website is here. 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. We have published the Washington Socialist in paper and on the web since the 1980s; see this topic-indexed archive. It is also the base of a home-grown history of our local chapter. Our political education, ongoing every day, is also inscribed in the record of our Socialist Night School. Watch for the next round of our pol ed reading groups, coming up for summer.

Publications Schedule: The remaining Updates for April are scheduled for Fridays, the 14th and 21st, and the May Day issue of the Washington Socialist will accompany the Update sent on Friday, April 28th. The article deadline is April 22; send submissions 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, but please don’t wait till the last minute.


Friday, April 7

6:30 – 9:00pm | NoVa DSA GameNite (in person)

Saturday, April 8

10 – 11:30am | NoVA M4All Signature Gathering

1:30 – 4:30pm | Stomp Out Slumlords Anti-Eviction Canvass

Wednesday, April 12

6 – 7pm | NoVA DSA Tenant Organizing Research Meeting

7 – 7:30pm | Repro Justice Working Group Meeting (see #repro-justice in Slack)

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

Thursday, April 13

6:15pm | NoVA Branch MDC DSA Monthly Organizing Meeting (hybrid)

Wednesday, April 19

7 – 7:30pm | Repro Justice Working Group Meeting (see #repro-justice in Slack)

Thursday, April 20 

6:30 – 7:30pm | Social Housing Organizing Meeting

6:30 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Social Meetup

Wednesday, April 26

7 – 7:30pm | Repro Justice Working Group Meeting (see #repro-justice in Slack)

Thursday, April 27

5:30 – 8:30pm | Socialist Feminist Section Happy Hour

Sunday, May 7th

7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Electoral Working Group Meeting


Medicaid Renewals Start Again NOW: Information and Outreach Opportunities 

If you have Medicaid coverage, you’ll have to renew for the first time in 3+ years to stay eligible! No one lost their Medicaid coverage from March 2020 until now but a bill from Congress ended pandemic-related protections against the loss of eligibility, starting this past week. Over the next 12 months, everyone on Medicaid will have to renew; your notice may have arrived earlier this week. Make sure you renew your coverage when it’s due and have up-to-date contact information to get those notices! The Medicaid program’s legal default is to send mail to the address you had when you applied — which won’t work for everyone.

Until we win Medicare for All, we all have to navigate administrative burdens just to stay insured for the health care we need. Find how to update your information and renew your benefits based on your jurisdiction: DC website here; Virginia website here; and Maryland website here. If you’d like to help out or learn more about this process in DC, please email medicaid.renewal@dc.gov. The DC Medicaid Renewal team could also give you fliers or cards to hand out to tenants or beneficiaries if you request them via email.


POLITICO Playbook, in digesting this item, of course headed it Pink Slips at ActBlue: “ActBlue, the fundraising platform widely used by Democratic politicians and organizations, said Monday that it will be reducing its workforce by roughly one-sixth, citing the need to control costs and restructure. The announcement of a 17 percent reduction in workforce comes amid a series of layoffs among both political organizations and technology companies.” 

In Sidecar (of the New Left Review), Frédéric Lordon writes on the radical potential of the ongoing French uprising against Macron’s anti-democratic pension reform (and Macron himself). “In France, the legitimacy of the power structure has collapsed; it is now nothing more than a coercive bloc. Having demolished all other mediations, the autocrat is separated from the people only by a police line.”

Books: Bob Dylan’s the Philosophy of Modern Song — Dylan, writes reviewer Raymond Foye of this new coffee table-size book, “is sweeping out the ashes from the cave of a long career. He is casting a light on the Jungian shadows of popular song, examining both mechanics and metaphysics.” From the Brooklyn Rail via Portside

Exceptionalism and its discontents — the shrinking US lifespan and mortality history is veering away from that of other rich-world countries “… increasingly the American mortality anomaly, which is still growing, is explained not by the middle-aged or elderly but by the deaths of children and teenagers. One in 25 American 5-year-olds now won’t live to see 40, a death rate about four times as high as in other wealthy nations.” from NYT.

Members of the HOME Act Coalition, including Montgomery County DSA’s Ingrid F, explain in a Maryland Matters op-ed why the so-called “anti-gouging” bill would lead to significant displacement and homelessness and clarify some harmful misconceptions spread by landlords to oppose rent stabilization. 

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