April 28, 2023

Apr 28, 2023



  • April 2023 General Body Meeting ballots are out

  • May Day canvass with DSA in support of Union Kitchen workers

  • Support Starbucks workers in Olney, MD — TOMORROW, Saturday, April 29 at 3pm

April 2023 General Body Meeting ballots are out

Metro DC DSA members in good standing: Your ballot on a bylaw amendment and a resolution was sent out Wednesday evening and should be in your inbox! Votes can be cast until 11:59pm this Sunday. Didn’t get one? First, check your spam folder; if it’s not there, email steering-all@mdcdsa.org using the email address by which DSA knows you.

This ballot contains two questions:

Should the chapter adopt Resolution 2023-04-GR8: General Body Meeting Frequency Bylaw Amendment?

Should the chapter adopt Resolution 2023-04-GR9: Amend the Chapter’s Internal Elections Policy?

An important voting note: the resolution linked in the OpaVote Ballot for Res 2023-04-GR8 linked to an outdated document — the share link above is the correct amendment that was discussed and debated at convention. A corrected version of this ballot will be included on the OpaVote Ballot for May, but members are encouraged to vote on this ballot to decide the outcome of GR9.

May Day canvass with DSA in support of Union Kitchen workers

Union Kitchen workers have been subject to despicable union-busting tactics, and DSA is standing up to Union Kitchen’s bosses to declare: enough is enough! On International Workers’ Day, Metro DC DSA will be joining Union Kitchen workers to canvass in support of their unionization efforts.

The canvass launch will be held outside the Shaw location of Union Kitchen (1251 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001) at 5:30pm on Monday, May 1. The plan is to canvass until 7pm. Following the canvass, we will hold a happy hour for chapter members to attend and socialize. Fill out this form to stay in the loop.

Support Starbucks workers in Olney, MD — TOMORROW, Saturday, April 29 at 3pm

This Saturday, April 29 is Olney Days: Party In The Park at Olney Manor Recreational Park. Many attendees of Olney Days cross the street afterwards to get drinks at Starbucks — creating a prime opportunity for organizing and advocating for workers’ rights. Starbucks workers will be handing out Starbucks Workers United stickers outside the store from 3 to 6pm to spread the word about the union and have asked DSA and the community to help out. RSVP here.


Lead-up to the DSA National Convention — one deadline is TODAY

Resolutions to be considered at the DSA National Convention in August are in circulation, and the deadline for signatures is today if comrades want to sign on in support of them being added to the convention agenda. Many of the proposed resolutions are promoted and discussed on the #2023-national-convention MDC DSA Slack channel. A national DSA Proposal Hub, where you can find the proposals being considered by the national convention, provides one-stop shopping for those pressed by the deadline. The processes for electing chapter delegates to the convention are discussed there as well, with voting for the chapter’s convention delegates and any NPC nominations currently set for May 23 to 27. Metro DC DSA members in good standing can endorse members of good standing to run for delegate using this form. Metro DC DSA members interested in running for the DSA’s national leadership body can self-nominate themselves using this form.

Tipped minimum wage to see first increase on May 1

In 2022, following mass mobilization for signature-gathering and door-knocking campaigns by Metro DC DSA members, the people of DC voted overwhelmingly to adopt Initiative 82, which will gradually phase out the tipped minimum wage over five years in DC. The first wage increase will take effect on Monday, May 1, increasing the wage from $5.35/hr to $6/hr, with another increase in July to $8/hr, ultimately achieving non-tipped minimum wage parity in July 2027.

Though wage increases were supposed to begin earlier in the year, a late effort from the restaurant lobby delayed implementation to May 1. Nevertheless, Monday’s wage increase represents a crucial material gain for the District’s working class achieved in part by the socialist sorties that fanned across the city to make it happen.


MDC DSA Steering Committee adopts “Strike Ready” Resolution, among other chapter sign-ons

During its Tuesday meeting, the Metro DC DSA Steering Committee adopted a resolution declaring DSA “Strike Ready” for the potential UPS action later this summer, joining chapters across the country. Read it here.

Steering also signed on to a Sierra Club (DC chapter) letter on green power conversion assistance for DC residents. “The Healthy Homes Act would provide low and middle income DC households the opportunity to switch from fossil fuels to clean and efficient electric heating and induction cooking with no out-of-pocket costs.”

From mass labor action to legislation that aligns with our ecosocialist goals, these resolutions point to the many local opportunities for DSA members to get involved in fighting for working-class power. Head over to the #labor and #ecosocialism channels in the chapter Slack — and if you haven’t joined yet, consider becoming a member. If you are a dues-paying member but do not have Slack access yet, please reach out to slack@mdcdsa.org with a copy of your dues receipt.


Montgomery County Eviction Courtwatch — Wednesday, May 3

Join Montgomery County DSA and the HOME Act Coalition to support our neighbors in rent court. We’ll meet at the courthouse and discuss evictions, watching and taking note of the rent court session, and connecting with tenants about joining the movement for tenant rights — including rent stabilization. 

We will be attending both the morning and afternoon sessions, so please mark on the RSVP form which session you are able to attend! RSVP here.

Wharf InterContinental Hotel is unionizing

Another budding labor development for DSAers to support: Workers at the Wharf InterContinental Hotel in DC — including staff of acclaimed restaurant Moon Rabbit — are unionizing with UNITE HERE Local 25, prompted by concerns about pay, tipping, working conditions and more. This is a potentially pivotal moment for labor in the District, which has one of the lowest food and beverage industry unionization rates in the country. Read more from DCist.

Defund MPD working group to plan Defund & Refunk Workshop

The Defund MPD working group will host our first Defund/Refunk event of 2023 on Saturday, May 20th from 1 to 4pm at Market Park, right by the Eastern Market Metro. This participatory workshop will feature music and artwork and help our neighbors understand how DC’s budget process works with a focus on how we can better use the MPD budget to improve our city. Members on the chapter Slack should plug in to the #defund-the-police channel.

Beyond Apartheid: Settler Colonialism in Palestine — Tuesday, May 9 at 7pm

The Palestine Liberation reading group will be hosting a discussion on the nature of the Israeli state, the meaning and differences between apartheid and settler colonialism, and how the struggle for Palestinian liberation intersects with human rights and the global North/South power dynamic.

You can RSVP to the event here. Please note that there is suggested-but-optional reading beforehand to help center discussion.

Protests against Filipino President Marcos’ first US visit — Monday, May 1

In 2022, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was elected President of the Philippines on a populist right-wing authoritarian platform reminiscent of Donald Trump and his ilk. On Monday, May 1, join BAYAN USA, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines and the Malaya Movement in protesting his first visit to DC and shedding light on the dangerous policies Marcos Jr. represents and the harm they are doing to the Philippines. They will be holding a vigil outside of the White House from 9am to 7pm, and hosting two rallies — first at 12pm and again at 5:30pm. Masks are required, and bringing food, water, mats and chairs is suggested. Sign up here for updates.


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: Friday issues of the Weekly Update are scheduled for May 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th and the June issue of the monthly Washington Socialist will accompany the Update of Friday, June 2nd. The article deadline for the June issue is May 27th; 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 29

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

Tuesday, May 2

7pm | Medicare4All Trivia Night (in person)

Wednesday, May 3

5:30pm – 8:30pm | Repro Justice Working Group Open Monthly Meeting

Thursday, May 4

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

Friday, May 5

6:30 – 9pm | NoVA DSA GameNite Cottagecore Extravaganza (in person)

Sunday, May 7th

12 – 3pm | Soccer Sundays

7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Electoral Working Group Meeting

Tuesday, May 9

7 – 8:30pm | Beyond Apartheid: Settler Colonialism in Palestine

Thursday, May 11

6:15 – 7:45pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting (hybrid)

Saturday, May 13th

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


Earth Day Resource Fair | ANC 4B

Gather with neighbors for an Earth Day Resource Fair at Whittier Elementary School (6201 5th Street NW) on April 29 from 11am to 2pm. Join government agencies, nonprofits, neighborhood groups, student organizations and more with the goal of sharing resources and opportunities for engagement around environmentalism! The event is hosted by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B’s Executive Committee and co-sponsored by Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George and At-Large Councilmember Christina Henderson. See a full list of participants and RSVP for free here.

Introduction to Active Bystander Intervention Training | DC Peace Team

Active bystander training teaches effective skills for assessing, de-escalating and diffusing a problematic situation, such as intimidation, harassment, abuse, physical violence, etc. Active bystander training focuses on a bystander observing a problematic situation and determining if and how to intervene. This is an interactive, participatory beginner’s workshop offered on Saturday, April 29 from 12 to 3pm, and is designed for those that may have little to no prior studies of bystander intervention. Payment is requested on a sliding scale.

Mutual Aid Block Party | Ward 2 Mutual Aid

Join Ward 2 Mutual Aid next Saturday, May 6 from 2 to 4pm for a community block party in Logan Circle. Food, fun and mutual aid education can be expected!

Mothers’ Day Free Market | Ward 4 Mutual Aid and Petworth Peanuts

The Ward 4 Mothers’ Day Free Market is back for the third year in a row! This free market is an immensely popular event, and brings neighbors from across the DMV who are in need of maternity, baby care and young children’s items. The event will be held on Saturday, May 13 at Emory Church Beacon of Light Church (6100 Georgia Ave NW) from 12 to 4pm, but volunteers are needed ASAP to organize, and donations are starting this weekend. Sign up here if you are able to volunteer to get the word out in advance and/or support the event day-of.


The anniversary of Paul Robeson’s birth (125 years ago) shares the month of April with the passing of Harry Belafonte at age 96. For Belafonte, Robeson was a hero he wouldn’t abandon even in the worst stretches of red-baiting. History’s rhymes are elusive but always there.

Writing in the Verso Books blog, Adam Greenfield responds to a recent opinion piece in the Guardian regarding the decline in church attendance in England. Greenfield argues for transitioning abandoned churches into what he calls Lifehouses — decentralized shelters and storehouses for the unhoused and other victims of neoliberalism, a population which will only grow as we continue to slide into a worsening climate catastrophe. He goes on to discuss the potential role for these Lifehouses as a pillar of sustainable community organizing in the near future. 

Interested in looking up Socialists running for office? Alyaza Birze’s Late April edition of Socialism on the Ballot catalogs who’s running and who’s thinking about it (or not) around the country from our neck of the political woods.

And states and local governments are increasingly plunging into either medical or recreational cannabis, often for the (anticipated) tax revenue. But banks are subject to federal regulation and still constrained from taking deposits from cannabis purveyors because it remains a scheduled drug per the DEA. Enter Congress, one more time: Lawmakers reintroduce SAFE Banking Act, a bill the cannabis industry hails as a lifeline.

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