April 14, 2023

Apr 14, 2023



  • MDC DSA General Body Meeting — Sunday, April 23 from 7 to 9pm

  • Montgomery County Branch to hold hybrid meeting — Tomorrow, Saturday, April 15

  • Workers and community demand reinstatement of fired employee at Union Kitchen

MDC DSA General Body Meeting — Sunday, April 23 from 7 to 9pm

Our general body meetings convene all chapter members once a month. Working groups, caucuses, committees and leadership provide key updates on campaigns and other activities. Members may also propose and vote on business. This event is open to both DSA members and supporters. This month’s general body meeting will include:

  • Information on the upcoming DSA National Convention
  • Final read (motivation and debate) on the General Body Meeting Frequency Bylaw Amendment
  • Motivation and debate on updates to the internal elections standing rules

Register here for the April general body meeting.

Montgomery County Branch to hold hybrid meeting — Tomorrow, Saturday, April 15

Montgomery County DSA will hold a branch meeting this Saturday, April 15 at 4pm at the Silver Spring Library. The branch will be sharing the latest updates on our rent stabilization campaign and figuring out how we want to move forward. If you have been waiting for a sign to get involved, come to a meeting or a plug into organizing, this is the place.

Trent Leon-Lierman, organizing director for the working class immigrant organizing project CASA, will be joining the branch to share more about how the DSA can strengthen the tenant movement in Montgomery County through building-by-building organizing. Please RSVP here and indicate whether you will be attending virtually or in-person.

Workers and community demand reinstatement of fired employee at Union Kitchen

Last Friday, members of Metro DC DSA joined an emergency rally held by UFCW Local 400 outside the 9th Street location of local chain Union Kitchen. United Kitchen Workers, which represents workers at the store, confronted management to demand the reinstatement of a worker who was unjustly fired by management. The unjust firing is a recent affront waged by the management of Union Kitchen, which has been engaged in an ongoing union-busting campaign.

Beyond the illegal union-busting operation waged by Union Kitchen’s owner, Cullen Gilchrist, the business has attracted a reputation for the exploitative conditions it imposes on local businesses through its accelerator funding program. A 2019 report from Washington City Paper covered the conditions of these deals, which impose on recipients a majority say in business operations to Union Kitchen and outside “professionals” in addition to a 10% equity stake in the business by Union Kitchen (high for this level of start-up funding). Union Kitchen is actively fundraising for its Series A Fund, though investors should be wary. If Cullen Gilchrist continues his bizarre fight against Union Kitchen workers, the business is bound to crumble: DC is a small town, and there’s no business to be made with a destroyed reputation and unenthused workforce.


Updates in the Battle for Rent Control in Montgomery County — New website launched to clarify HOME Act legislation

Last month, the Montgomery County Council heard hours of testimony in support of the HOME Act (16-23) — which would limit rent increases to 3% annually in the county. If passed, the HOME Act would be one of the strongest rent control provisions passed in the DMV, and would protect hundreds of thousands of tenants from displacement and rent-extortion. 

The HOME Act is supported by a wide array of unions, progressive organizations, tenant associations and the Montgomery County DSA. MoCo DSA has been active in organizing tenants, socialists and renters in the county to rally testimony and support for the bill. The next development in this legislation is tentatively set for June 15 at the County Council’s Planning, Housing and Parks Committee hearing.

As the united front for rent control prepares for the next stage in this legislation, you can learn about the specifics on a new website launched by Montgomery County Councilmember Kristin Mink, who is one of the legislation’s champions in Montgomery County. The site specifically details the differences between the HOME Act and opposition legislation proposed by a twisted alliance of capitalists, developers and neoliberals who want to keep their profits and the rents of the working class high.

Rally for abortion rights — TOMORROW, Saturday, April 15 at noon

A Federal judge in Texas has left the availability of mifepristone, a pill used for medical abortions for decades, in doubt nationwide. Members of Metro DC DSA’s  Reproductive Justice working group will be gathering at the Court of Neptune Fountain — in front of the Library of Congress — at 11:45am in order to begin protesting at the Supreme Court at noon. Join to remind the courts that we will not return to an age of unsafe and forced births.


Solid State Books management voluntarily recognizes union

Solid State Books officially recognized their staff union on Tuesday, April 11. “Today, the owners of Solid State Books signed an agreement to voluntarily recognize our union,” the Solid State organizing committee said in response. “We couldn’t be more excited to become the second bookstore in DC to unionize. Thank you to our customers, community allies and fellow union members for your outpouring of support. We look forward to negotiating our first contract collectively and making Solid State the best workplace it can be. Solidarity forever!”


Coalition rallying to End the Era of Fossil Fuel on Earth Day — Saturday, April 22

Our biggest challenge as we work to secure a livable future for the global working class is ending fossil fuel capitalism and transitioning to democratically owned renewable energy. The bottom line: To secure a livable future, we cannot afford new fossil fuel projects. That’s why a broad coalition of District organizations are rallying this Earth Day to tell the Biden administration: Say NO to fossil fuels! At 12pm on Saturday, April 22, gather for a youth-led (but everybody included!) rally in Freedom Plaza featuring the voices of young people from around DC and across the country, front line leaders fighting the worst impacts of climate change and music from the Too Much Talent Band. Then, at 1pm, march to the White House to demand that President Biden take bold action to follow through with his promises to End the Era of Fossil Fuel.

In addition to the rally and march, various organizing trainings and events will take place leading up to Earth Day. More info and RSVP:

Testify to end police stops for minor traffic violations in Montgomery County — STEP Act hearing 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 the extreme race-based disparities in traffic enforcement in Montgomery County. A public hearing on the bill will be held at 7pm on April 25.

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 25; 2) submit written testimony in support of the bill here; or 3) email silverspringjustice@gmail.com to share your story with SSJC and MoCo DSA and give 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. Organizers with MoCo DSA 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.

April Washington Socialist

A new addition to this month’s Washington Socialist offers an in-depth look at how bad-faith attacks on DC’s revised criminal code gave cover to successful attacks on the District’s already limited democracy, linking recent headlines to Mayor Bowser’s encampment evictions, Michael Bloomberg’s mayoral tenure in New York, and more. “Wherever we are, defending democratic rights and advancing economic, social and racial justice, are inextricably linked.” Read “Congress, Justice and Statehood: A Question of Democracy.”

National DSA Call: Scale Up Your Chapter by Opening an Office — Tuesday, April 25 at 8pm

Offices are a great way for chapters to increase their visibility in a community and host meetings and events. At the 2021 convention, DSA passed a resolution for matching funds to help more chapters open offices. Attend this mass call to learn more about how you can qualify for these funds and get your chapter ready to open a physical space. RSVP here.


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 Update for April is scheduled for Friday, the 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.


Saturday, April 15

4 – 5:30pm | MoCo branch DSA April General Meeting (hybrid)

Wednesday, April 19

9:00 – 11:30am | Montgomery County Eviction Courtwatch (in-person)

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

7:30 – 8:30pm | WePower DC Organizing Meeting

Thursday, April 20 

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

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

Sunday, April 23

1 – 2:30pm | NoVA Branch Tenant Organizing Workshop: Having effective conversations

Wednesday, April 26

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

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

Thursday, April 27

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

Saturday, April 29

3pm | Monthly Washington Socialist/Publications WG planning meeting — interested comrades welcome

Sunday, May 7th

7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Electoral Working Group Meeting


Securing Tenant-Owned Affordable Housing in DC in Ward 1 | Baldwin House Community Collective 

The Ward 1 Mutual Aid Baldwin House Community Collective is close to creating an affordable, tenant-owned housing cooperative and mutual aid hub! The Community Collective has already raised more than $1.3 million out of the $2.7 million needed to acquire and renovate the building, but additional community support is needed to raise the remaining amount by April 17. The Baldwin House Collective is looking for high net wealth individuals who can loan funds to this effort either through Donor Advised Funds or direct loans from accredited investors. Potential investors can contact the collective at communityfund@baldwin-house.org and learn more at baldwin-house.org.

Tax Day Advocacy | Fair Budget Coalition

Join the Fair Budget Coalition (FBC) on Tax Day (April 18) in telling the DC Council what you do and don’t want your tax dollars spent on! This is a great opportunity for mass social media and outreach to your Councilmembers to let them know where you want your dollars to go. FBC has an online toolkit to help you with messaging as well as a list of volunteer opportunities for those interested in canvassing. Learn more here.

Get Green for Earth Day Weekend | Share a Seed, et al

Mutual aid seed sharing and growing project Share a Seed will be going all out to get DC green thumbs (and aspiring green thumbs!) ready for spring with a series of seed sharing and planting events over Earth Day Weekend. On April 22, Share a Seed will be sharing seeds and running a potting station at the PLNTR Earth Day Market from 11am – 3pm and will also be tabling and sharing seeds at the Sunrise GW Fossil Free Festival from 12 – 5pm. On Sunday, April 23, Share a Seed returns to Upshur Community Garden in Ward 4 for a spring work day. Attendees will have the opportunity to work in the garden, share seeds and swap plants/cuttings, meet the local beekeepers and taste some honey from the gardens’ bees and more! All these events are free to attend. For volunteer opportunities or questions, email reana@slowfooddc.org.

Artist and Volunteer Calls for DC Dyke March | DC Dyke March

The theme of this year’s Dyke March (Friday, June 9) will be Dykes for Trans Rights! As an all-volunteer, no sponsors event, DC Dyke March organizers are currently seeking volunteers to help ensure the success of this year’s event. Click here to learn more and to sign up to volunteer. DC Dyke March is also looking for amazing local artists to help them design this year’s t-shirt! Submissions are due by April 24 and details can be found via the DC Dyke March instagram page.

Local Food and Beer Trivia Night | Slow Food DC

Join Slow Food DC on Tuesday, April 25 at 7pm for a night of local food/beer trivia and drink specials at DC’s own City State Brewing. Trivia will start at 7:30pm and there will be prizes! No cover or RSVP required.


Our comrade David Schwartzman just published an exploration of “How China can prevent climate catastrophe.” A longer version is pending at Capitalism Nature Socialism, where David is on the editorial board.

The Maryland General Assembly ended Monday and legislators were tired and ready to have the water muddied for them by lobbyists for the big utilities. Hence a good bill that would upgrade housing resilience — but cost the utilities money — fell victim to The Lobbyists, who know just when to strike and don’t need an argument to win, just a little extra mud for the waters. A nice tick-tock from Maryland Matters.

Workers World reports from a Boston UPS rally: “Over 1,000 delivery drivers and warehouse logistics workers at United Parcel Service (UPS), many donning T-shirts emblazoned “Ready to Strike” over their UPS uniforms, rallied in force at Boston’s Teamsters Local 25 headquarters in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood April 2. Of UPS’s global workforce of over 500,000, some 340,000 are represented by the 1.3 million-strong Teamsters, in the largest private-sector collective bargaining agreement in North America.” 

US Fascism Is Spreading Under the Guise of “Patriotic Education:” “Republicans are rallying behind racist pedagogy as an organizing principle.” Long but full of current examples; a great roundup. From Truthout via Portside.

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