May 12, 2023

May 12, 2023



  • 2023 DSA Convention updates — voting to take place following May 21 GBM

  • Defund and Refunk the District — Saturday, May 20 at 1pm; canvass TOMORROW!

  • Stomp Out Slumlords canvass — TOMORROW, Saturday, May 13

2023 DSA Convention updates — voting to take place following May 21 GBM

Metro DC DSA will be sending 38 delegates (and 4 alternates) to Chicago for the biennial DSA National Convention, August 4 – 6; the nomination period for delegates has now closed. If you are nominated, the deadline to accept your nomination is 11:59pm on Sunday, May 14. MDC DSA members may also run for the National Political Committee of DSA — self-nomination is available until May 14, and the MDC DSA General Body must approve candidates. 

Voting (by OpaVote) for delegates and any NPC nominations will take place from May 23 – 27 after our in-person May General Body Meeting (GBM) on Sunday, May 21 near Dupont Circle; RSVP for the May GBM here. The GBM will include opportunities for NPC candidates to motivate the resolution for themselves, give members the chance to debate their candidacy, and hear more on candidate positions. There will also be a book exchange during the meeting — so bring any books you would like to share with your fellow comrades — and a happy hour following the GBM, where members can meet and get to know delegates, NPC candidates and their positions. 

Other important convention notes:

  • The Convention Compendium has been released, including finalized resolutions — amendments are open until the end of June.
  • Delegates at the convention will vote on resolutions submitted by comrades all over the US that received enough support to be put on the agenda. 
  • Information on the national convention, our participation and delegate selection is regularly updated on MDC DSA’s dedicated Slack channel, #2023-national-convention, which includes discussion and advocacy of candidates and their stances or platforms, as well as of resolutions at the convention. 

Getting our 40-plus elected national convention delegates and alternates to Chicago in early August will be a heavy financial lift — likely between $800 and $1,000 per person. Please contribute to the travel-share treasury here if you have the means!

Defund and Refunk the District — Saturday, May 20 at 1pm; canvass TOMORROW!

The Defund MPD working group will be hosting their first Defund and Refunk the District on Saturday, May 20 at 1pm. Come out to Market Park (701 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, near the Eastern Market metro) for an afternoon of art, music and conversation as we imagine new ways to improve the District and keep our residents safe from violence, poverty, police and oppression. The event will include a short political education workshop on the DC budget so we can envision a people’s budget. Please RSVP here, and if you’d like to help us spread the word about the event, join our canvass tomorrow, Saturday, May 13 from 1 – 3pm at the same location. Members on the chapter Slack should plug in to the #defund-the-police channel.

Stomp Out Slumlords canvass — TOMORROW, Saturday, May 13

Stomp Out Slumlords — the DSA tenant organizing working group — will be embarking on an anti-eviction canvass tomorrow, Saturday May 13th. Comrades will be out meeting tenants and informing those facing eviction of their rights in court, how to get a lawyer, and to assess if they’re interested in organizing their building. SOS will meet at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station on the D street exit between 6th and 7th above the escalators — if the weather is bad, the meeting place will be downstairs just before the turnstiles. At 1:30pm there will be a short training to explain why these canvases are necessary, how to talk to tenants about their upcoming eviction suits, and how to fill in walk-sheets. New canvassers will be set up with a veteran canvasser who will instruct on the ins-and-outs of tenant engagement. After groups finish canvassing, canvassers will be headed to Sonny’s in Park View to socialize and debrief.


Medicare For All Public Hearing in Alexandria — Saturday, May 13

This Saturday morning (tomorrow!) at 9:30am is the next Alexandria public hearing. The Medicare For All working group is looking for Alexandrians who are willing to speak in favor of universal healthcare for two minutes. Ideally, the M4A working group would like to have those willing to share a personal story about how the horrific US healthcare system has impacted them or their loved ones, but remarks on universal healthcare facts and statistics are also welcome.

If you are interested in speaking during this weekend’s public comment period, the registration link can be found here.

Movement for rent control and the HOME Act continues in Montgomery County — upcoming events in May and June

Montgomery County DSA and the HOME Act Coalition are building tenant power to pass the HOME Act, which limits rent increases to 3% annually. If successful, this campaign will expand tenants rights for thousands in Maryland, and land a big-blow on capital-interests in the region. Socialists in Montgomery County have been organizing neighbors and communities to stick the landing for this legislation. Here’s where the campaign is headed next:

  • The Coalition will join a town hall with county councilmembers at Takoma Park Middle School on May 17. RSVP here.
  • The Coalition will be tabling in support of the HOME Act at the Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 20. RSVP here.
  • The HOME Act Coalition will hold a community picnic at Wheaton Forest Local Park on June 4. RSVP here.

Interested in joining the socialists making this push happen? Fill out our form to have an organizer get in contact with you.


Members exploring production of an MDC DSA Socialist Summer Camp

Several MDC DSA members are planning our chapter’s first-ever Socialist Summer Camp — a day-long event where everyone curious or coming back to socialism can hang out, learn from each other and make fun things together. Camp is happening on Saturday, July 15, tentatively from 10am – 5pm. We are looking for two to three people who live or have access to a house-like space in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood and are interested in working with us and letting us use their space (very respectfully!) to coordinate this camp. Please reach out to Amanda L. (she/they) on Slack or by email at if you can offer such a spot, or if you are generally interested in volunteering to put on this camp.


Public Power Socialist Night School — Tuesday, May 30 at 6:30pm

The DMV is invited to the Public Power Socialist Night School at 6:30pm on Tuesday, May 30, which will take place either in-person at the Cleveland Park Library (Meeting Room 1) or online. The Night School will describe the current state of DC’s electricity utilities, how a publicly owned municipality could lower rates, prevent shutoffs and increase the shift to renewable energy, and how DSA’s WePower DC campaign is organizing to bring about this bright future. Learn how the fight for public power will help us build power — after all, publicly owned power systems represent one of the most effective means of bringing energy justice to our community. 

Make sure to sign up in advance. Signing up through Action Network provides attendees with a Zoom link on the next page, under “Instructions From Your Host.” All invited!

Join the Political Ed Outreach Team for June wheatpasting events

Metro DC DSA’s political education working group needs help getting the word out about upcoming events and bringing in new members. Sign up here to join the DSA’s guerrilla propaganda crew. The first target: Building awareness for the forthcoming “Villains of Silicon Valley: DC Walking Tour” with bestselling author Malcolm Harris on July 1, along with several upcoming Socialist Night Schools. To help, we are putting together a team to wheatpaste posters and spread awareness about the chapter and its political education events. It’s fun, informal and social — no experience needed — and each group will have an optional get together afterward. Join us for any or all of the three dates: June 6, 10 and 17, and possibly the 20th if a rain makeup is needed. We’d also love to hear your suggestions about which neighborhoods (and even jurisdictions) to visit.


Rally for Palestine — Sunday, May 14

Supporters of Palestinian liberation and a broad coalition of organizations — including American Muslims for Palestine, CAIR, Palestinian Youth Movement and many more — will gather at the Washington Monument this Sunday, May 14 at 1pm to commemorate the 75th year of the Nakba, the destruction of Palestine that began in May 1948. For Palestinians across the world, it has never ended. RSVP here.

Plus – McCarthy’s pandering to Israel backfires on the Hill. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) peremptorily canceled an event commemorating the Nakba that was scheduled for the Capitol on Wednesday. A comrade on the scene confirmed “the event was moved from the Congressional visitor center to a hearing room in the Senate’s building because of McCarthy. Good news is, the room was packed and the event was great. Rashida was fabulous and Cori Bush attended as well.”

Rally with organizing Sofitel workers — Wednesday, March 17

Join Sofitel hotel workers and UNITE HERE President D. Taylor for a rally on Wednesday, May 17 at 5pm at 806 15th St. NW. Workers at Sofitel — managed by France-based Accor, one of the largest hotel companies in the world — are organizing for good jobs, safety and respect. In response, the hotel has embarked on a scorched-earth union-busting campaign, holding mandatory anti-union meetings and threatening to change the schedule of an employee who is leading the organizing effort. 

The Biden State Department has spent more than $1.3 million on Sofitel hotels around the world, and the DC Sofitel regularly hosts political VIPs at its restaurant — yet Sofitel workers have to maintain three jobs to support themselves. Rally with the workers to tell Sofitel, Accor and the Biden administration: Sofitel workers deserve a union!


DC Abortion Fund Fundraiser with the Repro Justice Working Group and Socialist Feminist Section — Thursday, May 25

Join the Repro Justice Working Group and the Socialist Feminist Section of DSA as we fundraise for the DC Abortion Fund! Meet us at Midlands Beer Garden (3333 Georgia Ave NW) on Thursday, May 25 from 5:30 – 8:30pm. It is now more important than ever to fundraise for our local DC Abortion Fund as they provide vital reproductive services for people, in-state and out-of-state, who are unable to afford them. The Reproductive Justice WG denounces the inequity created by abortion bans — abortions are still accessible, but only to those who can afford to travel to get them. What can you do to help? First, come drink, socialize and fundraise with comrades on May 25. Second, and more important, help stick it to the Supreme Court by raising money for the DC Abortion Fund! RSVP 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: Here is the Washington Socialist newsletter/zine for May 2023. Friday issues of the Weekly Update are scheduled for May 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

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, May 13th

9:15 – 10:30am | M4All Comments at Alexandria City Hall

1 – 3pm | Eastern Market (DC) canvass with the Defund MPD Working Group

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

Tuesday, May 16th

7 – 8pm | Defund MPD Biweekly Meeting

Wednesday, May 17th

7 – 8pm | Defund NoVA Police Working Group Meeting

Thursday, May 18th

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

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

Saturday, May 20th

1 – 3pm | Defund & Refunk the District

1 – 3pm | NoVA Branch Comrade Hike of the W&OD Trail

Sunday, May 21st

3 – 5pm | May General Body Meeting

Saturday, June 3rd

5 – 9pm | NoVA Branch June Mobilizer Party

Sunday, June 4th 

7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Electoral Working Group Meeting


Greenbelt Green Man Festival | Chesapeake Education, Arts and Research Society

Forget Charles III as Green Man; experience the real community green explosion at the 18th annual Greenbelt Green Man Festival, this Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 5pm at the Roosevelt Center. Come out to hear live music, join a drum circle, learn about environmental best practices and buy from area vendors. Music, community, dreams.

Ward 7 & 8 Resource Fair | DC Greens

Discover local organizations and networks active east of the river that are available to support Ward 7 and 8 residents at the DC Greens Resource Fair on Saturday, May 13 at The Well at Oxon Run (300 Valley Avenue SE). There will be food, music, activities and local organizations introducing themselves and sharing information about the services they provide. Come through for 15 minutes or stay all four hours! Click here to RSVP and/or find more information on tabling at the Resource Fair.

Reel & Meal | New Deal Cafe

On Monday, May 15 at 7pm, May’s Reel and Meal at the New Deal Café (113 Centerway, Greenbelt, MD) features three short environmental films, an encore presentation from the most recent Utopia Film Festival. This month’s is in-person only. There’s an Iranian animation, “The Sprayer;” “Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops,” narrated by Richard Gere; and “Trees: the Lungs of Our Community” documenting local forest and tree loss — mostly to development — in Hyattsville, Maryland, with the filmmaker as discussant. The film and discussion are free. A full menu will be available at the Café.

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 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! Sign up here if you are able to volunteer to get the word out in advance and/or support the event day-of.

Spring Membership Meeting | Empower DC

On Saturday, May 20 at 1:30pm, gather and view the exhibit “To Live and Breathe: Women and Environmental Justice in Washington DC” at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum (1901 Fort Pl SE)  and learn about our environmental justice organizing with Empower DC. RSVP here.


In Dissent, Kate Aronoff reframes Biden’s compromise-riddled climate legislation as an opportunity: “The Inflation Reduction Act presupposes a private sector–led transition. But battles over its implementation could build the political constituencies and expertise needed to take on the fossil fuel industry … The climate left (broadly defined) now faces a novel problem: how to deal with having won something—and keep fighting for more.”

The NYT reports that May Day protests in Puerto Rico — a long tradition for public teachers and union members on the island — drew hundreds of frustrated workers across demographics and sectors: “Puerto Rico has faced an economic malaise for almost two decades. Austerity measures, imposed by an unelected fiscal oversight board created by Congress seven years ago, have chipped away at public pensions and other benefits.”

AI machines aren’t ‘hallucinating’. But their makers are. “There is a world in which generative AI, as a powerful predictive research tool and a performer of tedious tasks, could indeed be marshaled to benefit humanity, other species and our shared home,” Naomi Klein argues in the Guardian. “But for that to happen, these technologies would need to be deployed inside a vastly different economic and social order than our own, one that had as its purpose the meeting of human needs and the protection of the planetary systems that support all life.”

In Red Pepper, a UK publication, Nancy Fraser writes that – in our critique of and fight against capitalism, particularly as it pertains to ecosocialism – we need to “widen our lens” and look towards the root in order to prevent capital’s cannibalistic devouring of all that we hold dear. “To understand where we are and to figure out a strategy for radical change, we need to recognise that capitalism as an economic system depends on several non-capitalist systems of social and natural reproduction. Most fundamentally, and perhaps most timely, is nature and the planet.” Via Portside.

Mayor Bowser is refusing to sign the DC Council’s unanimously passed and long fought-for bill to loosen restrictions on street vending, notably decriminalizing vending without a license, creating vending zones and waiving unpaid civil citations — yet another snub from the mayor for DC’s working class.

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