May 19, 2023

May 19, 2023



  • MDC DSA General Body Meeting — in-person, Sunday, May 21 from 3 to 5pm

  • Defund and Refunk — Saturday, May 20 at 1pm

  • DMV-wide Tenant Meeting — Wednesday, May 24 at 6pm

MDC DSA General Body Meeting — in-person, Sunday, May 21 from 3 to 5pm

Metro DC DSA is hosting our first in-person General Body Meeting since the start of the pandemic, Sunday, May 21 from 3 to 5pm. The meeting will be devoted to discussion of the August national DSA convention in Chicago and our local chapter’s representation and issues. Masking will be mandatory, and masks will be provided for attendees who do not have one. There will also be a concurrent free book exchange in the back of the meeting, so please bring any books you would like to share with your comrades, and join us afterwards for a happy hour at The Admiral in Dupont Circle. RSVP here to receive information about where the meeting will take place!

Voting for our delegates to the national DSA convention will likely occur between May 23 and 27. Please see the #2023-national-convention channel in Slack for details, including posts from delegates running. Three slates — Onward, Roots and Branches, and Red Slate — and an independent candidate are currently in the running for our 38 delegates and four alternate slots. Slate candidates and platforms are detailed on the convention Slack channel. And sending our full delegation to Chicago will be expensive, likely between $800-1,000 per delegate. If you have the means, please consider donating so that none of our comrades feel excluded due to financial strain.

Here is the compendium of resolutions and bylaw changes that will be placed before the Convention. Note that there is an amendment process with a deadline of June 28 and a required number of signatures; info here.

Defund and Refunk — Saturday, May 20 at 1pm

The Defund and Refunk the District event will take place TOMORROW, Saturday, May 20 at 1pm at Market Park (701 Pennsylvania Avenue SE) near the Eastern Market metro. The event is 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. These events help build a latent base for police abolition by facilitating conversations and education on the municipal budget. RSVP here.

Members on the chapter Slack are also invited to plug in to the #defund-the-police channel with questions or for getting more involved.

DMV-wide Tenant Meeting — Wednesday, May 24 at 6pm

On May 24, Stomp Out Slumlords will host an in-person meeting with tenant leaders and organizers from across DC, Maryland and Virginia. We’ll be hearing about organizing updates, particularly from the tenants at Marbury who just had their past year’s rent balances cut in half, and will be discussing future events and more opportunities for people to get involved. 

The event will take place at 6pm at MLK Library Room 401-G (901 G St NW). Afterwards, we will be heading over to Bar Deco for drinks and socializing.


Advocates Score Select Victories in First Council Vote on FY 2024 Budget

On Tuesday, May 16, the DC Council took their first vote on the fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget. The Council ultimately approved the $19.7 billion budget — the largest in the District’s history — but not before making significant changes to bring community services back into Mayor Bowser’s #brokenheartbudget (as DC’s Fair Budget Coalition has taken to calling it). Key wins include: $43 million back to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and 230 new housing vouchers for people experiencing homelessness (Bowser had cut ERAP by 80% and not funded any new vouchers); the reversal of proposed cuts to a program that offers free legal assistance to people in landlord-tenant court; and the restoration of the Baby Bonds program. The Council also increased funding for dozens of schools across the city, restored funding for organizations that work with victims of domestic violence and saved three Circulator bus routes from the chopping block.

Unfortunately, a proposed amendment package from DSA-endorsed Councilmember Zachary Parker failed to gain full Council support. The proposed legislation would have fully funded food access bills Give SNAP a Raise and No Senior Hungry, given low-and middle-income families a tax credit of up to $500 per child under the age of 12, and devoted an additional $60 million to the Housing Production Trust Fund (among other provisions) failed to garner full Council support. Councilmembers will continue to negotiate until their second vote (Tuesday, May 30), and advocates will continue fighting for a budget that prioritizes community and aiding vulnerable families over lining the pockets of wealthy DC developers.

In better news, On Tuesday, May 16, the DC Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the end of the trade blockade against Cuba and removing the island nation from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The enduring blockade has continued to be an indefensible humanitarian nightmare, leading directly to decades-long shortages of food, water, and medicine as politicians willingly trade the health and welfare of Cuban lives in order to secure votes in Florida.

See more:

Councilmember Lewis George’s roundup of opening round budget negotiations. 

Learn more about the DC budget process from the DSA’s Socialist Night School session.

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.


NoVA Branch Comrade Hike — Saturday, May 20 at 1pm

Come join your Northern Virginian comrades for a four mile hike on the W&OD trail tomorrow at 1pm. Members of the NOVA Branch will be meeting at the Starbucks near the Dunn-Loring metro, and expect the hike to take about an hour and a half. RSVP here.

Next Socialist Night School: Public Power — 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 in-person at the Cleveland Park Library (Meeting Room 1) and 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 are invited!


Join the Team! Political Ed Outreach and 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 guerilla 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 would also love to hear your suggestions about which neighborhoods — and even jurisdictions — to visit.

Hindu Nationalism & the U.S. Far Right: A DSA Workshop — Tuesday, May 30 at 6:30pm

Join national DSA’s Religion & Socialism Working Group, Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, and Hindus for Human Rights for a teach-in on the growing alliance between the United States and Indian far-right, the various appearances of Hindutva in American public life and ongoing anti-caste discrimination litigation. There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions on this urgent topic.


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. The last Friday issue of the Weekly Update for May is the 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 20th

10 – 11:30am | NoVA Branch M4All Petition Gathering 

1 – 3pm | Defund & Refunk the District

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

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

Sunday May 21st

3 – 5pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting (in person)

Wednesday, May 24th

6 – 8pm | Stomp Out Slumlords DMV-wide Meeting

Thursday, May 25th

5:30 – 8:30pm | DC Abortion Fund Fundraiser with Repro Justice Working Group and Socialist Feminist Section 

Tuesday, May 30

6:30 – 8:30pm | Socialist Night School on Public Power (in person)

Wednesday, May 31

7 – 8pm | Defund NoVA Police Working Group Meeting

8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation

Thursday, June 1

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

Friday, June 2 

6:30 – 9pm | NoVA DSA GameNite

Saturday, June 3rd

5 – 9pm | NoVA Branch June Mobilizer Party

Sunday, June 4th 

7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Electoral Working Group Meeting


Spring Membership Meeting | Empower DC

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

Canvass Event | DC Guaranteed Income Coalition

DCGIC are canvassing this Saturday! Join the crew at 11am this Saturday, May 20 as they spread the word about the need for guaranteed income and gather signatures for economic justice. The canvassing team will be meeting in front of the Navy Yard CVS store. Click here for more details and contact with questions and/or to RSVP.

Get Growing in Ward 8 | DC Greens, The Well at Oxon Run

Spring is in full bloom and The Well at Oxon Run, a community farm in the great Ward 8, is open for its first full growing season! The Well offers open events for community members every month, including: Free Produce Giveaways with Capital Area Food Bank (1 – 5pm, May 24); Senior Thursdays (11am – 1pm, May 25); Seed & Culture Saturdays (12 – 2pm, May 27); and Nutrition Classes with IAMWANDA every third Saturday of the month until October. The Well is also looking for volunteers and hiring full-time farm staff! To RSVP for events or find out about upcoming offerings, visit DC Greens’ website.

Free Produce at DPR Urban Farms | DC Department Parks and Recreation

Weekly produce giveaways are back at DPR’s three urban farms! Cool weather crops (varies by location) that are coming available include: kale, collards, chard, mustard, pea shoots, lettuce, spinach, cilantro, dill, herbs, and possibly strawberries! Giveaways occur weekly, rain or shine, and volunteers are always needed. Please bring your own bags! Edgewood Rooftop Farm (300 Evarts St NE): Tuesdays from 11am – 12pm; Lederer Gardens (4801 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE): Wednesdays from 11am – 12pm; Powell Communal Farm (3149 16th St NW, inside the park): Thursdays from 11am – 12pm.


As the feckless come and go to White House “emergency” confabs, economist Jamie Galbraith reminds us that “The Debt Ceiling Drama Is All Stagecraft — The US Treasury is obligated to make payments. The rest is optics.” From The Nation via Portside

Economists Hate Rent Control. Here’s Why They’re Wrong, argues Mark Paul in the American Prospect, in a plainspoken account of why “rent control works; as study after study has shown, rent regulation keeps housing more affordable” despite the shibboleths of classical economics. Via Portside

America’s Cold Civil War The nation is now divided between people who want a multiracial democracy in which every American is allowed and encouraged to vote, and those who yearn for an anti-democratic system in which an extreme white minority has unchecked control over everyone else. America’s experiment with multiracial democracy is, historically speaking, still a new one, and one not guaranteed to continue existing without continued defense and advocacy. From the LA Progressive 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